“I just got so angry.” This is a common statement from many family caregivers, especially after the stress of doing this type of work wears them down.
Caregiver stress can affect almost everyone.
Most people simply underestimate the impact stress will have when caring for a family member, whether it’s a parent, adult child, spouse, or someone else. Either that or they dramatically overestimate their ability to handle this type of work. If a person overestimates their own abilities, endurance, and stamina, they will quickly run up against the wall, so to speak.
It’s okay to become frustrated and even angry.
There’s nothing wrong with this. Anger is a human emotion and it happens to everyone. The key is in what somebody does when they are feeling frustrated and angry. If a caregiver allows the anger to take over, if they allow that anger to cause strife, to lash out at the client, the elderly person who needs assistance, then that is a problem.
It may be time to ask for help.
When a family caregiver is facing this type of situation, when he or she is completely overwhelmed, when they allow the anger they feel inside, the frustration they can’t seem to escape beginning to take hold and overrun their better sense, it’s a clear sign that something else needs to happen.
Hire home care support.
Hiring a home care aide is the best option at this point in time. The family member doesn’t have to simply quit working and taking care of this person, but they can get much-needed assistance at various times throughout the week. When a person recognizes that taking care of a family member is a job, whether they already have a full-time job and other responsibilities or not, they understand the limitations that exist on their time.
Home care aides through agencies can be available for just a couple of hours at a time, maybe in the morning, in the evening, every other day, every day, once or twice a week, or in any combination that seems to be most suitable. With this kind of flexibility, there’s no excuse for people to discount the value in home care services.
Family caregivers have a great responsibility and when they feel anger and frustration taking over, that’s a time to recognize stress for what it is and begin asking for help to improve quality of care, safety, and help to maintain a healthy relationship with the person who needs assistance.