When you first agreed to become your mom or dad's caretaker, you may not have realized how much work it would entail. Aging parents often require a significant amount of care, whether they are physically disabled or battling Alzheimer's. No matter how much you love your parent, there may be days where you feel physically and emotionally exhausted. Here are three common emotions that you may experience after you commit to care for your elderly mom or dad.
Taking care of a sick or disabled parent can be time-consuming and stressful, especially if you have other responsibilities, such as a job, pets, or children. You may find it hard to sneak away for a few moments to yourself, and you may find yourself feeling annoyed with yourself for agreeing to help care for your parent. Here are a few other reasons that you may feel angry:
Consider keeping a journal so you can vent privately about your feelings. You may also find it helpful to schedule regular phone chats with a friend or join a support group for caretakers.
If you were a social butterfly prior to becoming your parent's caretaker, then you might feel as if you are alone in the world. You sit at home with your parent each day while your friends and colleagues attend Happy Hours, book club meetings, and church functions without you. You may feel as if your friends have forgotten about you, but they probably haven't. Let your pals know that you enjoy their company, even though you can't go out like you used to. Invite them to your home for a cup of coffee, a movie night, or an evening spent playing board games so that you can socialize.
You may feel terribly guilty if you feel any emotion other than happiness when you think about taking care of your mom or dad. After all, they raised you, so the least you can do is be there when they need you, right? Yes, but "being there" doesn't always mean you have to physically be there. If you need a break once in a while, let another caretaker relieve you of some of your duties—even if it's just for a few hours. You'll return feeling refreshed, and you'll feel good knowing that your parent received excellent care while you were away.
The feelings listed above are unhealthy, but they are also normal. You deserve a break, and there are experienced professionals out there who can give your parent the same amount of compassionate attention as you do. Whether your mom requires around-the-clock assistance or your father just needs a hand with his bathing and meal prep, the kindhearted staff at a senior home care agency (such as In Your Home Care) can help.Share