Are You Feeling Unappreciated as a Family Caregiver?
From the moment you woke up this morning to the end of your day, you’ve given your best to the aging loved one you care for. You provided assistance with showering and dressing, prepared nutritious meals, cleaned the house, all while making certain your senior loved one was happily involved in enjoyable activities, made it to their 2:00 hair appointment, and picked up prescriptions and groceries afterwards. And, of course, you aren’t helping with these tasks for a pat on the back, but you’d appreciate a simple “thank you” every now and then.
If you are feeling under-appreciated or completely unappreciated altogether, you’re not alone. Feeling underappreciated is a common experience as a family caregiver, and if left unchecked, it can lead to caregiver burnout or depression. However, you can avoid that with these tips:
Make an effort to understand their perspective. There are a number of reasons a senior loved one may not be expressing gratitude for the task you’re doing. Someone with dementia or another chronic condition may be completely focused on their particular struggles or the day-to-day tasks at hand which are now more difficult. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes can help you accept that a lack of verbal appreciation doesn’t necessarily equate to true ungratefulness.
Learn the skill of self-appreciation. The work you’re doing is incredibly important, and you deserve to be rewarded for it. Choose something every week that you are going to do for yourself for a job well done. It can be as simple as one hour spent reading on the porch swing or a muffin from your favorite bakery. You may also want to plan for larger rewards, for example, a weekend getaway, by engaging respite care services from a dependable care partner like The Care Company.
Start modeling appreciative behavior. Let the senior see by example how good it feels to be appreciated by sincerely thanking them whenever the ability emerges, in spite of how small. When they fold and hang up the towel after their bath, wipe off the table after dinner, or help with putting away groceries – be sure to thank them.
The Care Company is always here to help with family caregiver duties, and we can help ease your stress while allowing you plenty of time for self-care. Regularly scheduled time away is essential, and we’re here for just as much or as little as you need. While you’re taking care of yourself, we will help an older adult you love with:
Transportation to appointments or fun outings
Laundry and housekeeping
Personal care (showers, baths, getting dressed, etc.)
Companionship for conversations, games, puzzles, hobbies, exercise, etc.
And much more, in accordance with each person’s unique needs
If you need help as a family caregiver, reach out to The Care Company for a complimentary in-home consultation and let us know exactly how our services for senior home care in Toronto and the surrounding areas can help.