When you’re faced with the taking on the role of family caregiver, you may have a lot of questions about what it’s like. Many people think about the physical tasks involved, like helping with household tasks, running errands, or assisting with bathing or dressing. However, you might also wonder what it will feel like to be a family caregiver to an older family member. How it feels can be different for everyone. Factors that can influence your feelings include your relationship to the senior, the demands of the condition they have, and other responsibilities in your life. While no one can tell you exactly how being a caregiver will make you feel, there are common emotions that come up for many, like the ones listed below.

Ambivalence

Sometimes you may feel both like you want to be a caregiver and like you don’t. This is called ambivalence. Switching between these feelings can be confusing to family caregivers. Knowing that it is completely normal to experience ambivalence can help you to cope with it. Allow yourself to have both feelings and know that not wanting to be a caregiver sometimes is perfectly okay.

Joy

Being a caregiver can be incredibly rewarding. When things are going well, you may feel absolute joy at seeing your older family member feeling better. You should feel good about it. Your efforts play an important role in allowing them to have a better life. Cherish these moments and pull the memories of them up when things aren’t going as well.

Anger

You may have days when you’re irritable and find yourself snapping at your aging relative. It’s not easy providing continuous care for someone, especially if they don’t accept your help graciously or ask more of you than you can do. First, forgive yourself for your behavior. It can be hard to contain your negative feelings sometimes. Then, learn to recognize when you’re feeling angry and take a break to keep yourself from exploding. Make sure the senior is in a safe place and walk away for a few minutes. Take some deep breaths and get yourself back under control before returning.

Boredom

Some days, being a caregiver is just about the most boring thing on the planet. You might spend a lot of time sitting in waiting rooms or just hanging out on the couch alone while the older adult sleeps. You may also feel bored because you don’t have the time or opportunity to do the activities you enjoy. One thing that can help relieve boredom is respite, which means some time away from being a caregiver. Contact a home care agency to hire someone to take over some of the work each week so that you have time for yourself.

Sources
https://www.caregiver.org/emotional-side-caregiving
https://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-03-2013/ambivalent-about-caregiving-role.html
https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/caregiver-overcome-guilt#1

If you are considering caregivers in Columbus, OH for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Lantern West Health today at 614-594-7474.