Inhabiting the role of caregiver is always emotional. You might have become a caregiver in increments or had the responsibility of elderly care hoisted on you all at once because of an emergency. Perhaps the emotions surfaced the instant you became responsible for someone else’s care. Maybe you didn’t start feeling them for the first few months or even years that you’ve been in this role.
But when you are a caregiver, the emotions you experience are inescapable. For the sake of your mental health, understanding that these emotions are valid and acknowledging them are crucial steps to take.
Below, we’ve compiled some of the most common emotions that caregivers experience as they continue on their difficult journeys as well as a few tips for coping with those emotions.
Many people do not choose to be caregivers. It’s a choice that is made for them by circumstance and necessity. Feeling that you are unable to do what you want to do with your time because of the needs of a loved one can foster negative emotions like resentment. Whether you feel resentment toward the person receiving care or toward family members who do not help out, it’s important to acknowledge this emotion and to learn how to cope with it.
How to cope
You can cope with resentment by accepting elderly care help where it is offered, even if that help causes tension and conflict (that’s a bridge you can cross when you come to it). If you have siblings who refuse to share responsibility, it can help to broaden your support network. Reach out to extended family and friends.
Irritability and Anger
There will be times when you will lose your temper with your care receiver. Perhaps you already have. Irritability and anger are common emotions to have when you care for someone else all day, especially if they refuse to accept help.
How to cope
Learn to forgive yourself for the times you can’t control your anger. You might find that having a creative or physical outlet that lets you vent your emotions in a constructive way helps in your day-to-day. Talk to supportive friends and family about the challenges you face rather than letting the anger sit inside you until you can’t contain it anymore.
The caregiving role is an isolating one. You’ll watch as your friends and family go on with their lives and enjoying themselves while you feel stuck. To make things worse, friends will often stop inviting you out because they know you are unavailable.
How to cope
The best way to cope with loneliness is to take a break and do something that has nothing to do with caregiving. Caregivers who are lonely should seek out a respite care program or daycare program that will allow them to get out of the house and do something for themselves.
Is elderly care causing you emotional stress?
Is your caregiver role causing you too much stress? Do you feel like you’re at risk for emotional burnout? Call Granny NANNIES Miami at (305) 591-1818 today to learn how we can help. We offer a free in-home care consultation.
Dear (contact name),
The caregiver role comes with many different emotions, many of which can be difficult to cope with. If you feel that your role has caused too much emotional stress, take a moment to read our most recent blog. You will find some helpful tips for a few of the most common emotions associated with caregiving.