4 Common Emotions of Caregivers
Family members that bear the brunt of the responsibility of caring for an aging family member or a child or parent with disabilities often struggle to maintain the care needed for the best quality of life. Rather than send their loved one to an institution that could provide care, these individuals take on the additional caregiving responsibilities while still working a full-time job and taking care of other domestic priorities. Though some states have expanded Medicaid programs to allow for in-home care services to be covered financially, such as with the personal preference program NJ residents can use, the financial pressures are just one of the many needs caregivers have to manage.
Being a caregiver for a family is difficult, and often the transition to this role is unexpected. The changes and adjustments can be stressful and emotional. It is very common for caregivers to experience the following emotions when managing their loved one’s care.
Anxiety. Many people lump anxiety and stress in the same category. When it comes to caregiving, a lot of the anxiety comes from the unknowns of the situation. Will the person get better? What happens if I do something wrong? How can I help my loved one? All of these questions echo the confusion and concern that is swirling around the caregiver’s thoughts. It can be an uncomfortable time, with many stressing over what to do.
Guilt. You may have zero training when it comes to being a caregiver and struggling with inadequacy is normal. When you do the best you can with the information and resources you have, you need to rest in the assurance that you are doing enough. Get training or help in areas where aren’t confident, and set limits for your accomplishments.
Grief. This emotion isn’t just reserved for death. Losing the person you once knew or watching the future you had imagined for the individual slip away can cause grief. It okay to mourn what was or what should have been, but don’t let these emotions keep you from the joy that can have taking care of someone you love.
Anger. Watching your loved one struggle can be hard, and it is normal to be angry at the situation. Remember to not let your frustration be seen or felt when taking care of the individual. This wasn’t their fault, and they are working to make it through just like you are.
Remember, it is normal to go through a roller coaster of emotions throughout the process. Your loved one is being given the best care possible, and you are blessed to have an impact on providing a better quality of life.