It is never easy to hear criticism from people you care about, especially when it is about something meaningful and important in your life. Unfortunately for many family caregivers, the effort they put into caring for their aging parent becomes the focus of criticism from their siblings, who may not agree with decisions made or the type of care offered.
If you are experiencing this type of criticism from your siblings, you may feel discouraged and upset. You may even find yourself less invested in the care you give your parent because of the criticism. Focusing on coping with this criticism effectively is a critical step in preserving your care relationship, and maintaining bonds within the family.
Use these tips to help you cope with criticism from your siblings over your care choices for your aging parent:
- Remind yourself why you made those decisions in the first place. Go over what happened leading up to the decision, and the benefits you saw coming from it. This will help to reaffirm in your mind that you are doing the right thing for your parent.
- Try to evaluate why your sibling is criticizing you. Is it really because they think that you are not making the right decisions for your parent, or is it because they are envious of the time you are spending with your parent? Do they want to have the same recognition, or feel important? Recognizing the cause of the criticism can make it easier to cope with, or even to resolve.
- Not all criticism is destructive. Some can actually help you improve. Rather than just accepting the criticism, ask the sibling to justify what they are saying, and offer alternatives. You can then take those alternatives and compare them to what are you are already doing to determine if you are already on the right path, or if there might be room for change.
- Offer to let your sibling implement the changes they think are appropriate. When they experience what you go through caring for your parent, and see how their idea changes the results of care, they may be less prone to criticizing you, and may even be willing to offer more help.
- Suggest alternatives to you handling all of the care tasks, such as implementing elderly care, and having the siblings divide the cost.
When you are a family caregiver for your aging parent, it is easy to only think about taking care of them.
After all, you took on this role in order to help them manage their needs and challenges, and support their health and well-being. It is vital, however, that when you are caring for your senior, you do not overlook the importance of also taking care of yourself.
Family caregivers are more prone to experiencing stress and the consequences of this stress than others, and it is essential to find coping mechanisms to help you reduce and manage this stress to protect your own health, quality of life, and quality of care for your senior.
Fortunately, elderly care can be there for you. An elderly home care services provider can step in to take on some of your parent’s care tasks so you can have more time in your schedule, not feel as pressured, and still have confidence knowing they are in good hands and getting everything they need.