Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Three of the Five Strongest Emotions Felt by Caregivers

Anger is a symptom, a way of cloaking and expressing feelings too awful to experience directly--hurt,bitterness, grief, and most of all, fear.
(Joan Rivers, Still Talking)

Anger is another emotion that is fear driven. Oftentimes, people express anger because it seems safer than expressing fear. Caregivers, especially women, report being angry about many things including:
- Angry that siblings don't help take care of their parents.
- Angry with herself for not confronting siblings and delegating part of the responsibilities.
- Angry that her parents didn't plan for "that day" sooner/better.
- Angry that she didn't see "that day" coming and better prepare for it.
- Angry at medical professionals.
- Angry that there are too many choices.
- Angry that there are not enough choices.
- Angry that it's "expected" that she delay her own life plans and cater to parents--while siblings continue with their lives uninterrupted.
- Angry that her job/career is compromised (ie., having to turn down promotions, or greater responsibilities, or fun projects that might require travel, or she might even have to quit her job to take care of her folks.)
- Angry that she has to use her sick leave and vacation time to take care of her folks.
- Angry that "no one understands" what she's going thru.


Female caregivers report extreme anguish over trying to:
- "please" her mother/father and trying to "please" her husband.
- the choice between moving her mom/dad in with her and disrupting her family life and moving her folks to a care facility, or allowing them to remain in their own home at the risk of serious consequences.


Although there are approximately 65 million caregivers in the United States, most caregivers report feeling lonely, isolated, and afraid. Eighty percent of caregivers are unpaid and care for a dependent adult seven days a week.

Fear driven emotions are often exaggerated when we are tired or have multiple life stressors. So, remember to take care of yourself. Your role as caregiver is but one of many roles. Other aspects of your life continue and there needs to be balance. I will share ways you might take care of yourself while caring for your elderly loved one(s) tomorrow. Scroll down for You Tube Video.

Sandra, Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation
www.babyboomerssandwich.com/ www.youtube.com/sandrawhaymon

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