Friday, April 12Hampton Roads Weekly

Senior Care

What Every Family Caregiver Needs to Know When Battling Tough Emotions

By Tom Knox

The Hampton Roads senior care team at Seniorcorp shares the information every family caregiver needs in order to overcome the many challenging emotions they face. See our website for our full Virginia service area.

If you are feeling overwhelmed in your role as caregiver, take heart; you are in good company. Serving as family caregiver for a senior loved one is probably the most complex roles we can hold: extremely gratifying on the one hand, while at the same time frustrating and ever-evolving, often bringing about feelings of doubt about whether we’re up to the challenge and providing the best possible care.

It is why so many family caregivers struggle with some or all of these types of feelings:

• Guilt: It is easy to feel as though you’re not doing as much as you really should to assist your senior loved one, that you’re selfish for seeking time away to yourself, or that you are inadequate at providing the help your senior loved one needs.

• Helplessness: There are some circumstances when you simply can’t solve the issues a senior loved one is experiencing.

• Anger or frustration: This can be directed at yourself, other family members who seem as though they are not doing their fair share, or even at your older loved one for causing you to be in this situation.

• Resentment: Extremely typical when being a caregiver for an individual who hurt or betrayed you in the past, it is easy for those feelings to resurface when that individual is now in your care.

• Hopelessness: When a senior loved one faces a difficult diagnosis, for example, a chronic or terminal condition, feelings of hopelessness can settle in, which may result in despondency or depression.

Recognizing these feelings, and accepting that they’re perfectly normal, is an effective starting point. These tips can also help:

• Share how you feel. Find a trustworthy friend, family member, or professional counselor to vent to, a person who can provide an alternative perspective and help you to adjust your thinking to a more positive slant.

• Think about the advice you’d offer a friend. Sometimes, stepping out of your situation and picturing how you would respond to someone else dealing with these feelings can provide invaluable insight. Provide the same encouragement you would offer to another to yourself.

• Find a care partner. Working with an experienced care provider, like the Hampton Roads home care experts at Seniorcorp, allows you to achieve a healthy life balance – an element that is paramount to every caregiver.

Contact our highly trained, experienced, and compassionate care team by contacting us at 757-640-0557 and let us walk alongside you with the top quality, personalized care services your loved one deserves – allowing you to take much-needed time for self-care. We are always available to answer any questions you have, to provide helpful resources specific to the issues you’re facing, and to provide a complimentary in-home consultation to share more about how we can help. We serve throughout Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, and Suffolk.