Caregiver in Woodinville WA
You notice your parents are not taking care of their home and that it is falling into a state of disrepair that is unsightly but also unsafe. You recommend that they downsize their belongings and make the transition to living with you, your spouse, and your children in your home. They are devastated and say they do not want to leave the home they have shared for decades or lose their independence by moving into a room in another house.
Your mother has always had long hair but with the progression of her Alzheimer’s disease she has not been able to take care of it properly and it has ended up dirty, foul-smelling, and tangled. You bring her to a salon and have them cut her hair to a pixie cut that is easier to maintain. Your mother is sad at the loss of her hair in her more lucid moments and says she no longer feels feminine or beautiful. In her less lucid moments she is frightened by her own reflection because she does not recognize herself.
Your father calls you three times within 10 minutes to have the same conversation. You reminded him the second and third times that you already spoke and, after confirming he is ok and does not need anything, you hang up. The phone rings again for a fourth time less than 5 minutes later and you choose to ignore it, knowing he will just forget he called anyway. You feel bad that you ignored him.
You do not have enough time in your weekly schedule to manage your career, bring your children to all of their activities, stay connected with your spouse, take care of your own needs, and give your parents all the care that they need. You hire a home care provider to come to the home a few times a week to tidy up, give your parents a bath, and bring them to their doctors’ appointments. They say that they feel as though you do not want to spend time with them or that they are a burden to you because you chose to hire a care provider for them rather than continuing to manage their care on your own.
Being a family caregiver for elderly parents is full of making decisions. Sometimes these decisions are difficult and stressful, leaving you wondering if you have made the right decision. This caregiving guilt is not only detrimental to your physical health and emotional wellbeing, it can also have negative consequences for the quality of care you give your senior loved ones. If you are a parent you know that making the decisions that are right for the people you love does not always mean making the decisions that they are happy with and that this can result in sadness, anger, and even resentment. You can justify this with your children because you know as they get older they will understand the choices you made.
With your parents, however, coming to terms with the guilt of your decisions can be much more difficult. Some of the ways this can lead to diminished quality of care include:
• Acting like a child again. As a child, when your parents were upset, you changed your behavior. Now if you feel like you are “in trouble”, you relent on the decisions you make, allowing yourself to go against what you think is right in order to keep them happy
• Forgetting your outside life. Trying to avoid negative reactions from your senior parents could mean giving up the other things in your life to tend to their needs. Over time this can make you sad and resentful, which remove your motivation and leave you less engaged in your care activities
• Overlooking yourself. Caregiving is not always an easy task and sometimes you face challenges that leave you tired, stressed, frustrated, and even angry. Not taking care of yourself and overlooking your physical and mental health needs wears you down and decreases your ability to provide attentive, safe, and effective care. This could put your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your loved ones at risk.
If you are experiencing high levels of caregiver guilt or stress, it is time to look for the help you need to maintain the highest quality of care for your elderly loved ones. Get in touch with the elder care agency in your area to discuss hiring a home care provider, find a support group, and get recommendations for other ways you can improve your care.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services in Woodinville, WA, call Guest Home Care. Our compassionate staff is happy to speak with you about your needs. Call today (425) 268-7988.