From the moment you woke up this morning up until the end of a tiring day, you’ve given your all to your older family member. You provided help with showering and dressing, prepared nutritious meals, cleaned the house, all while making sure your loved one was happily involved in meaningful activities, made it for their 3:00 hair appointment, and picked up prescriptions and groceries afterwards. And while you are not doing any of these things for a pat on the back, a simple “thank you” would be nice – but is almost never offered.
If you are feeling unappreciated as a family caregiver, you’re not alone. This is a common occurrence in caregiving for many different reasons, and when not addressed, may cause caregiver burnout or depression. These strategies can help.
- Make an effort to understand their perspective. There are a number of reasons a senior may not be expressing gratitude for the tasks you’re doing. Someone with dementia or another chronic condition might 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 does not automatically equate to true ungratefulness.
- Start modeling appreciative behavior. Let the senior see by example how nice it feels to be appreciated by sincerely thanking them whenever the opportunity arises, regardless of how small. If they fold and hang up the towel after their shower, clean off the table after lunch, or help with putting away groceries – be sure to thank them.
- Learn the skill of self-appreciation. The work you are doing is incredibly important, and you deserve to be rewarded for it. Identify something each week that you’re going to do for yourself for a job well done. It could be as simple as an hour spent reading on the porch swing or a cookie from your favorite bakery. You may also want to plan for larger rewards, such as a long weekend getaway, by engaging respite care services from a trusted care partner like CareWorks Health Services.
We are always available to share in your caregiving duties, to ease stress and allow you ample time for self-care. Regularly scheduled time away is vital, and we are here for as much or as little as you need. While you’re caring for yourself, we’ll help a person you love with:
- Laundry and housekeeping
- Companionship for conversations, games, puzzles, exercise, hobbies, etc.
- Transportation to fun outings or appointments
- Medication reminders
- Personal care (baths, showers, getting dressed, etc.)
- And much more, in accordance with each person’s unique needs
Reach out to CareWorks Health Services online or at (949) 859-4700 for a complimentary in-home consultation and let us know how our home health services in Huntington Beach, CA and surrounding areas can help.