As a caregiver, there are emotions you’re going to experience that might not always make sense to you at the time. Later, you might be able to see some of the potential causes and triggers behind them. Remember that emotions aren’t bad or good, they’re just a sign that you need to look deeper into the issue.
You might experience frustration for a variety of different reasons. Insurance companies, red tape, and other bureaucratic issues are incredibly frustrating. But your senior may frustrate you, too. She may actively resist doing things that are good for her, regardless of how much you might plead. It all adds up.
If you’ve ever told yourself you can’t feel angry about your senior’s situation or actions, you’re doing yourself a disservice. There are times that anger is the exact appropriate response. That doesn’t mean that you need to lash out at your senior. You need to learn how to channel your anger and release it in healthy ways.
Guilt pops up way too often for most caregivers. You might feel as if you’re never doing quite enough. There’s always something that you could be doing better or more of, no matter what you’re already doing. You might also feel guilty for not taking better care of yourself, even as you continue to make decisions that leave you at the bottom of the list.
Caregiving is exhausting. There’s no other word for it. Even if your senior is incredibly cooperative and you’re not experiencing red tape around every turn, you still are doing a lot and it’s exhausting. You’re likely also spending a lot of energy worrying about your elderly family member, which can wear you out. If you’re not able to sleep well, talk to your doctor to determine if there’s a medical cause.
As a caregiver, you likely aren’t spending much time on your own social life. This leads to isolation and loneliness, which is damaging for you to experience on a long-term basis. Finding ways to reach out to the people you care about is essential. If you’re far from friends and family, consider finding a support group for other caregivers.
Respite care can help you to manage these feelings and others that crop up. Elder care providers give you the chance to take care of yourself while they’re taking care of your aging adult. Respite care can last for as long as you need it to last.