When it comes to caregiving for a family member, family dynamics can play a big part in the caregiver’s outlook. For people who have been raised by loving parents who provided for all their needs, offering the same level of care may just be second nature. But what if you’ve been negatively affected by childhood experiences, determined to distance yourself from problematic family relations later in life, simply to wind up going back to look after them in a period of need?
AARP offers some helpful tips for family members who would like to do something to overcome old wounds with regard to providing care:
- Develop emotional boundaries. It’s feasible to offer compassionate caregiving while remaining emotionally detached. Imagine tending to the needs of someone you’d never met, and try to hold that mindset with a difficult family member, attempting to help keep personal feelings and hurts out of the picture while meeting his / her care needs with compassion.
- Try to separate the past from the present. While your family member may have displayed a pattern of causing you pain in past times, perhaps with furious outbursts or deprecating comments, it’s important to separate that pain from today’s struggles. For example, someone with Alzheimer’s may go through a stage of aggressive behavior that is a hallmark struggle associated with the disease, as opposed to a continuation of parenting mistakes.
- Start to change what you expect. Some members of the family move into a caregiving role with the purpose of changing the course of a relationship, convinced that if only they forget about past hurts and supply the best possible care, the individual may be converted into someone caring, kind and considerate after a lifetime of issues. The stark reality is, story book endings are quite few. Keeping expectations realistic helps reduce potential future disappointments.
First and foremost, recognize that no one needs to feel “stuck” in looking after a difficult family member. The professional home care team at Generations at Home is fully trained, experienced, and equipped to give you the highly skilled and compassionate care that allows family members peace of mind. A number of the various ways we can help include:
- Personal care assistance, such as with bathing, dressing, and using the restroom
- Cooking meals
- Keeping the home environment clean and tidy
- Running errands
- Providing transportation to health-related appointments and other outings
- And more
Contact us at 727-940-3414 for a free in-home assessment and to discover a Pinellas County senior care solution which will work for your family.