“What were you doing last night?” This is the kind of question a teenager may expect from his or her parents. It could very well be a fair question under those circumstances, but what if it was a spouse asking where their significant other was the previous night? Again, it could very well be a fair question, under the circumstances. But, what if it was an aging parent, somebody in their 70s or 80s, who is asking this of their 40-something or 50-something son or daughter who has been looking after them for some time? The question no longer seems to be relevant, does it?
Yet this could very well be what family caregivers face from time to time.
Taking on the responsibility of caregiving may seem to be a small detail at first. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the estimated 44 million family members looking after aging and disabled individuals ultimately realize it is incredibly stressful. It’s not just that these aging seniors are feeling frustrated, lonely, and even angry at their health or physical ability, but they may have a tendency to overstep emotional boundaries.
An elderly parent, when feeling a bit helpless, frustrated, or anxious leaning on an adult son or daughter for too much help every day, might slip into old patterns of behavior, such as they exhibited when they were raising this child as a teenager. They suddenly want to know every little detail about this person’s life.
The family caregiver may have called the night before to say he or she couldn’t show up.
That might seem like no big deal, especially if this aging parent is physically capable of remaining safe and still getting ready for bed and doing other evening related activities, but to that aging senior it means a missed opportunity for conversation, companionship, or physical support that reduces anxiety and stress.
They might ask the question, “What were you doing last night,” not out of insincerity or trying to interfere in the other person’s life, but a concern to make sure everything is okay. Some people might ask this type of question or want to know more about their adult child’s life because they are lonely. Yes, some will do this out of a sense of need, as though they have to control every situation around them that they can, and if they are being lied to or even believe that someone isn’t completely honest, it can be hurtful, though not necessarily justified.
When an aging parent is trying to pry into one’s life, it can be frustrating and increase stress as a caregiver. This is a great opportunity to step back and realize the value of home care support services.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care to reduce caregiver stress in Sharon, MA, please contact the caring staff at Care Resolutions. Helping Hands, Happy Hearts. Specializing in Quality Care in Eastern Massachusetts. Call Us! (508) 906-5572.
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