Emotional Caregiving

When caring for someone you love, it is best to keep your anger at a minimum. Often, we find that anger can prevail when we are caring for someone we love, especially someone with a difficult disease, stroke survivor, or an Alzheimer’s disease sufferer. Caregiving can be a very big challenge, but you must work to be as gentle as possible, even in the most stressful of times.

Those that may have suffered a stroke will be hard to care for. Their personality is not the same as you remember it, their attitude has shifted, and their actions may seem difficult to handle. These are all challenges the caregiver must work through in caring for their loved ones. These changes will affect the caregiver, and sometimes they feel remorse, anger, and sadness. Working through these emotional times will make you stronger, so that you can shift your focus on the one you are caring for.

There are ways to relieve the stress you have regarding your caregiving situation. Here are some solutions:

  • Go to caregiver support groups to gain a better understanding of your feelings, and talk with like-minded individuals. Often, we bottle-up our emotions, and being with people who can understand will make you a stronger person.
  • Make appointments to talk to clergy members, therapists, and even other family members regarding your feelings. You may even want to set-up a session for your loved one as well.
  • Write down your thoughts. Keeping your inner most thoughts in a journal everyday can help you reflect on your emotions, and ultimately it will allow you to see changes that may need to be made.
  • If you are caring for a stroke survivor, it is common that the survivor will try and control you (the caregiver), because it is sometimes the only thing they can control. Don’t allow abuse, or abstract behavior from the survivor, make it known that you are helping them- this will help you from being angry with them.
  • As strokes, and other diseases, change the persons behaviors and personality, it is a good thing to remember that you need to recognize these changes. Don’t dwell on the past, live to be in the moment. This will help you control your anger and sadness regarding your loved ones situation.
  • Things will wait! If there is an emergency- help at that moment; but, if your loved one requests non-emergency tasks from you, take it slow, things can often wait (such as changing the television channel, or fluffing the pillows). Do only as much as you can do for yourself and for them. Don’t over-do it!

Talk with your loved one about the way they are making you feel. At times we want to attack our loved ones with mean phrases or a hurtful attitude, but in this case, don’t make them feel badly over their actions, simply tell them they way you feel. The more open communication you have, the better the situation will be for you and the one you are caring for. Anger is not a true emotion when you love someone. Work through anger to be able to successfully care for the one you love.

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