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Caring for a Family Member: 5 Tough (But Normal) Emotions in Caregiving – and How to Manage Them

caring for a family member - st. joseph mi home health care
Caring for a family member can bring joys and challenges. Learn how to manage these emotions.

If you’re feeling a bit disheartened in your role as caregiver, take heart; you’re in good company. Caring for a family member is perhaps one of the most complex roles we can hold: highly fulfilling on the one hand, while at the same time discouraging and ever-evolving, regularly resulting in feelings of doubt about whether we’re up to the challenge and providing the most effective care.  

It’s why a number of family caregivers battle against some or all of these types of feelings:  

  • Guilt: You may feel like you’re not doing as much as you need to in order to assist your senior loved one, that you’re self-centered for taking time away for yourself, or that you are ill-prepared to provide the assistance your loved one needs. 
  • Helplessness: There are a number of circumstances when you simply cannot solve the problems your senior loved one is facing. 
  • Anger or frustration: This may be directed at yourself, other members of the family who seem as though they’re not doing their fair share, and even at your senior loved one for causing you to be in this situation. 
  • Resentment: Extremely typical when you are a caregiver for someone who hurt or betrayed you in the past, it’s easy for those feelings to resurface when that individual is now in your care. 
  • Hopelessness: When a senior loved one faces a difficult diagnosis such as a chronic or terminal condition, feelings of despair can settle in, which can result in despondency or depression. 

Acknowledging these feelings, and accepting that they’re absolutely normal, is a good place to start. The following tips can also help: 

  • Share your emotions. Find a trusted friend, family member, or professional therapist to vent to, someone who can offer a new perspective and help you to adjust your thinking to a far more positive slant. 
  • Keep in mind the advice you’d offer a friend. Sometimes, stepping out of your circumstances and picturing how you’d respond to someone else going through these feelings can provide valuable insight. Provide the same encouragement you’d provide to another, to yourself. 
  • Find a care partner. Working together with a professional care provider, like Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, allows you to achieve a healthy life balance – an element that is vital to every caregiver.  

Contact our trained, experienced, and compassionate St. Joseph, MI home health care team by calling (269) 849-9252 and let us walk alongside you with the top quality, customized care services your loved one deserves – permitting you to take much-needed time for self-care. We’re always available to answer any questions you have, to provide practical resources specific to the issues you are facing, and to provide a free of charge in-home consultation to share more about how we can help. You may also reach us at our other locations: (269) 763-5350 in Paw Paw, (269) 373-5444 in Kalamazoo or (269) 963-9888 in Battle Creek.

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