Concern for your senior loved one’s wellbeing may prompt a range of emotions, some of which may be overwhelming. Acknowledging your feelings might make them easier to manage. Here are common emotions related to caregiving, along with management strategies.
If caring for your loved one is making you impatient due to an impasse with communicating or completing a task, there are steps you can take to manage the emotion. Release the stress with a few deep breaths. Briefly close your eyes and silently coach yourself with calming thoughts. As your body releases stress, your mind will guide you on how to proceed.
Consider hiring a professional care worker if you need a break to relax, unwind, and let go of impatience or other negative emotions. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Newcastle respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
You may be worried about your loved one’s health and lack confidence in your ability to manage unexpected developments. Your mind might be projecting worst case scenarios. Plan for “what ifs” so you’re ready for emergencies. Obtain expert financial advice. With contingency systems in place, your apprehension may lessen. Spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation can also relieve fear. Keep organised with the help of date books, phone apps, notes, and reminders. To prevent dread, stay grounded in the present and practice mindfulness.
Certain situations may seem hopeless and extremely difficult to manage. Seeing your loved one’s health decrease can be heart-wrenching, and daily activities may feel like a heavy burden. Tell your doctor how you feel, connect with a licensed therapist, or join a caregiver support group. Try to fit 10 minutes of fun exercises into each day, such as dancing, swimming, walking, biking, or yoga, to stimulate the release of positive endorphin hormones. Include mood-boosting foods in your diet, like kale, beans, sweet potatoes, berries, walnuts, broccoli, carrots, and apples.
If you’re envious of others’ good fortune and you begrudge their finances, independence, relationships, social status, or apparent good luck, the cure is gratitude. Each day, recall five things for which you’re deeply thankful. Keeping a journal can help you stay mindful of blessings. You can also take a few minutes each night for grateful reflection.
Shame may arise when you don’t meet your own expectations or those of others. You may feel guilty for developing negative emotions toward your loved one and blame yourself for mishaps. If you’re overwhelmed with guilt, treat yourself compassionately, as you would a friend. Remember, you’re doing the best you can and you’re on a learning curve. Stay in contact with people who affirm your great qualities.
You might feel unappreciated, ignored, criticised, or abandoned and view your current circumstances as unfair, especially if your family is callous or uncooperative. If possible, hold family meetings and convey your grievances. Hopefully, your appeal for help will be heard.
You may be mourning the loss of your loved one’s health and independence and miss the days when life was easier and happier. Reveal your feelings to someone who understands grief while maintaining the connection you have with your loved one. If possible, strengthen your bond by sharing simple activities such as hobbies, social events, and fun tasks.
If you feel squeamish about cleaning up stool, urine, drool, dirty nails, and food, consider hiring a professional care worker to meet your loved one’s personal needs. When alone with your loved one, recall how he or she cared for you as a child. Recalling old memories can empower you to manage gruelling tasks. Also, consult with an occupational therapist for tips and equipment that facilitate personal care.
Professional care workers can assist seniors with an array of daily activities that family caregivers might find challenging to manage. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in home care, Newcastle Home Care Assistance can help. Our care workers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
Exasperation is a step beyond impatience. However, in such a highly charged state, a compulsive response may lead to a poor outcome. Take a timeout and briefly leave the scene, if possible. If not, slow your breathing and count to 10 to defuse aggravation. Developing healthy lifestyle habits can help you manage stressful situations better. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Eat nutritious meals and reduce your sugar and caffeine intake. Exercise regularly, but don’t stretch yourself beyond your physical limits.
Caregiving duties can build apathy, which could make you neglect your own health as well as your loved one’s health. You’re likely bordering on burnout, resulting from compassion fatigue. Focus on self-care and doing things that are affirming, inspiring, relaxing, and nurturing for your health. Build 10-minute breaks into your day for activities you enjoy, and make sure to connect socially with friends and colleagues.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Newcastle Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To learn about our customised senior care plans, call us at (02) 4089 3000 today.