It is no surprise that family dynamics can affect a caregiver’s attitude. For people who have been brought up by loving parents who provided for all their needs, providing the same standard of care may just be second nature. But what if you have been negatively affected by childhood experiences and resolved to distance yourself from problematic members of your family later in life, and then end up going back to look after them in a time of need?
AARP offers some helpful tips for family caregivers who would like to do something to overcome old wounds for the sake of providing care:
- Set emotional boundaries. It’s feasible to give compassionate care while staying emotionally detached. Just imagine looking after the needs of someone you’ve never met, and then try to maintain that mindset with a challenging family member. Aim to keep personal feelings and hurts out of the picture while meeting his / her care needs with compassion.
- Try to separate yesterday from the present. While your family member might have demonstrated a pattern of behavior causing you pain in past times, perhaps with furious outbursts or belittling comments, it’s important to separate that pain from present day struggles. For example, someone with Alzheimer’s might go through a stage of aggressive behavior, which is a hallmark struggle of this disease as opposed to a continuation of parenting mistakes.
- Change your expectations. Some family members walk into a caregiving role with the aim of changing the course of a relationship. They believe that if perhaps they release past hurts and provide the very best possible care, the individual would be converted into someone loving, kind and considerate after a lifetime of difficulties. The fact remains, however, that storybook endings are few in number. Keeping expected results realistic will help reduce possible future disappointments.
First and foremost, understand that nobody has to feel “stuck” in looking after a difficult family member. Our professional caregivers in Atlanta are fully trained, experienced, and equipped to offer highly skilled and compassionate care that provides families with peace of mind. A few of the numerous ways we can help include:
- Personal care assistance, such as with bathing, getting dressed, and using the toilet
- Planning and creating delicious meals
- Keeping the home environment neat and tidy
- Running errands
- Providing transportation to medical appointments and other outings
- And more
For more information about our caregivers in Atlanta and the surrounding areas, contact us at (404) 228-0103 for a free in-home assessment to discover a senior care solution that will work for your family.