Caregiving is rewarding, but it can also be discouraging when things aren’t going as well as you might like. It’s how you handle those situations that aren’t as positive that can make a big difference for you as a caregiver.
Reach out to a Friend
When you’re feeling discouraged, hopefully you have a friend or two that you can reach out to during those moments. That’s a big problem for some caregivers, though. They find that they have lost touch so badly with so many people in their lives that it feels as if they have no one to turn to when they need emotional support.
Join a Support Group
If you feel that your friends just don’t understand your situation, you might feel better talking to other caregivers. But if you haven’t already met other caregivers, that’s difficult to do. Joining a support group can help you to meet other people who are in similar situations as the one that you’re in. When you’re feeling particularly unsupported, talking to someone that you’ve met through your support group can be incredibly helpful.
Write out Your Feelings
Sometimes your darkest moments might be those times that are in the middle of the night or you might worry that you’re feeling things that no one in a caregiving situation experiences. Even if what’s going on feels as if you’re never going to be able to get through it, writing out your feelings can help so much more than you expect.
Make a List of Healthy Coping Mechanisms
When you’re feeling negative or discouraged, it’s difficult to remember the healthy tools you have at your disposal. Start keeping a list of healthy coping mechanisms you can lean on when you’re not feeling so great. Some might involve making sure you’re eating healthy foods or taking small breaks throughout the day.
Consider Taking Some Time Away from Caregiving
Something else you might want to consider, though, is that longer breaks might be what you need. You don’t have to consider trying to take a week or even a weekend away, but it’s possible that an afternoon away would do you a lot of good. Having help from senior care providers allows you to take that time without having to worry about what’s happening with your elderly family member.
Caregivers are human and that means that you’re going to experience discouraging circumstances from time to time. Just don’t let those get to you to the point that you aren’t able to enjoy anything about caregiving any longer. There’s help to be found and that can be what it takes to help you to have the experience that you need and want while caring for someone you love.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDERLY CARE IN ROLESVILLE, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.
Kathy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) who is active in several other senior related organizations, including Alzheimer’s State Champion program, Friends of the Northern Wake Senior Center board member, Ambassador for the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), Health Affairs Round Table (HART), and Senior Information Networking Group (SING).