Much of the adjustment that goes into being a caregiver for your aging parent goes into dealing with the stress and the emotional drain the care giving role can bring. In addition to issues of how to care for them in the best possible way, there are the emotions of anger when programs don’t work right or when the facility she is in has problems. There is resentment toward the siblings or even your aging parent due to the high demands this job has on you personally. There are other adjustments that are a huge drain on you emotionally. Balancing work, home and private life with the demands on your time being a caregiver is a juggling act that will involve as many “dropped balls” as successes before you’ll get it right. Once you get a good balance, the demands of your elderly parent might change and you’re pulled back into that stressful situation.
You have to think about ways you can offset the demands and try to take some time for you and for your family. These are all difficult emotions which may be why it takes a real adult to be a caregiver for an elderly person. But there is one emotion you may wish to foster and dwell on as much as you can to offset the worry, the anxiety, the anger and the resentment. That is the emotion of thankfulness.
Now it may seem impossible to even ponder how thankfulness could become part of your emotional reaction to this demanding situation you find yourself in. If you can find ways to be thankful that you are the caregiver for your parent, that positive emotion can do wonders to drive out those negative emotions in your heart. When you think about it, there are quite a few great things you can be thankful for BECAUSE you are the primary caregiver for your aging parent. Some of those are.
You are able to give back a few the sacrifices they made to raise you. The amount of time and money and emotional effort your parents used up on you as a child is something that can never be repaid. You are giving a little bit back in caring for them when they are old to say, “Thank you for raising me and never giving up on me, now I am not going to give up on you.”. There would be anxiety if you were not here. If you were far away in another state, you would be a basket case, not knowing your loved ones medical condition. By being close, you can get the facts quickly and get them right which cuts down on all of those “what if” bad dreams about your mom and dad. You always know what’s going on. There are a lot of “false alarms” with an elderly person. They need someone that can say, “It’s all right. It’s under control” to them. That someone is you. You are needed and you are important to your elderly mom or dad. If ever there was a time when you felt needed, not every so often, but every day and every hour of the day, it’s when you are there to help your parents through this time of their lives. Celebrate those little moments of laughter and joy. Celebrate when you enjoy a movie together or laugh at those “insider” family jokes that always bring a smile. Those times will be precious to you when your parent go on to their reward some day.
There is something deep inside us that feels a sense of completion when we are able to stay with someone we love through a very tough time. Your love for your parent and between you will deepen and grow stronger in a way that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
When your parent goes on to their eternal reward, you will look back on those months when you did all you could to make their final months happy and peaceful, and will be able to say, “I did the right thing.” One feeling that is irreplaceable and something you will be able to be thankful for forever.
Here at Bigelow Family Home Care we consider it a priviledge and an honor to help you take care of your loved one if you need a break. We can help you in those times that are difficult and stressful. Let us give you a hand.
Bigelow Family Home Care has provided home care assistance for seniors and the disabled in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties since 2010. When you become a part of Bigelow Family Home Care, you are treated like a family member with access to on call assistance 24/7.
If you have any questions about caregiving services, give us a call today at (800) 804-8845 to schedule a private, no pressure consultation at no charge to you.