Caregiver resentment is a normal experience for many adults taking care of their parents.If you feel frustrated, take steps to maintain control of their care.
When taking on the responsibility of caring for your aging parent or parents, you may begin to feel negativity toward them and your situation at large. No matter how much you love your parents, you may experience feelings of stress, frustration, and resentment—and if you collect too many of these emotions, it can result in shouting matches between family members and broken relationships.
As you learn how to become a better caregiver for your parents, consider the different ways to manage and prevent caregiver resentment to relieve some of the stress that comes with the job.
Know When To Ask for Help
Becoming a caretaker for your parents isn’t a decision you make lightly. You want to stay close to them during their sunset years and give them the proper care that only you can provide. That being said, there’s no shame in asking for help from the people you trust.
If you have siblings, ask that they take care of mom or dad for a week while you take a moment to breathe. Ask a close friend to assist you with chores around the house—they may not be able to help with caregiver tasks, but they can do simple chores such as dishes or cleaning that has piled up.
Bond With Your Parents
The roles of caregiver and the grown child of your parents are vastly different. While you’re wearing your caregiver shoes, it’s easy to lose sight of the reasons that you love and care for the ones that went through so much to raise you. Do something with the parents in your care that reminds you of the memories you’ve made while growing up. Take a family vacation, play a game, or watch a nostalgic movie that reminds you of the time you spent together in the past.
When traveling, don’t shirk your caretaker duties—organize your parents’ medications, medical devices, and mobility tools. Keep everyone safe by starting with small trips, especially while traveling during the pandemic. A socially distant road trip to a family cabin or rental home can provide you with some much-needed relaxation and bonding time.
Find the Root of Your Problems
When we get frustrated with our parents, it’s generally not because they did anything unexpected or wrong. Caregiver resentment can often stem from external issues such as work stress or family relationships—or even a sibling not stepping up to take responsibility.
One of the most important ways to manage and prevent caregiver resentment is to take a deep, introspective look at your real problems. Talk concerns out with a trusted friend or family member before they develop into solid resentment. You can even consider seeking a professional therapist to find personal care for your mental state during this challenging time of your life.
Always keep an open line of communication between you and your parents—let them know that they can tell you when you’re doing something wrong and you’ll feel more comfortable doing the same.
Disclaimer: The material in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace, nor does it replace, consulting with a physician, lawyer, accountant, financial planner or other qualified professional.