Often when someone becomes a family caregiver that means that they’re now helping someone who used to take care of them when they were younger. This involves a shift in the power dynamics that can be difficult to navigate at first.
It’s Gonna Be Uncomfortable for a Bit
The reality is that when relationships change, there is a bit of discomfort. While there are things you can do to help ease that discomfort, knowing that it’s part of the process can help you to just go with the flow for a bit. Change is really difficult for everyone involved. You don’t find a new equilibrium right away. Instead it takes time and effort.
Change Is Difficult for Your Senior, Too
As difficult as change is for you, remember that it’s not easy of your senior, either. She’s also dealing with this new reality in which she needs far more help than she needed in the past. Being dependent on other people is really tough when someone has been responsible for themselves for a long time. You have to keep this in mind, especially when your elderly family member seems to be angry or upset. This will pass, but you have to give it time.
Empower Your Aging Adult as Much as Possible
Just because your elderly family member needs help now, that doesn’t mean that she can’t do anything. For someone who wants to remain as independent as possible, accepting help is not easy. If you take over everything, that removes some of her personal power. Let your senior ask for help or wait until it’s a situation you know you need to help her with in order to empower her whenever you can.
Remember also that this is a situation in flux. The power dynamic is shifting for a while instead of overnight. You might have a plan or desired outcome in mind, but that doesn’t mean that’s how everything is going to go. If you’re staying as flexible as you can, then you’re going to be able to go with the flow.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
Stress makes people withdraw and this is especially true for a family caregiver. Depending on the situation, you may find yourself so overwhelmed that your own life falls by the wayside. Don’t forget to reach out to other people and get the emotional support that you need when you need it.
These changing roles don’t have to be a problem for you and your aging adult. Give both of you the time and the space that you need in order to accept the changes and to adapt to them. In time, you’ll have found the right balance for both of you.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Robbinsville, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
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