Having an extended family, such as siblings, when you enter into a family caregiver relationship may seem as though it will make this arrangement easier for you.
You may feel these family members mean your care efforts will be simpler, or that you have an automatic backup. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes having family around when you are a family caregiver can actually make your relationship, and your efforts, more complicated. As a primary caregiver for your senior, you may experience criticism from other family members, which can leave you questioning the care you give your senior or feeling pressured and underappreciated. This can cause extensive stress, which can be detrimental to your health and well-being, as well as to the quality of care you offer your parent.
It may seem as though it should be readily recognizable if your family members are criticizing you and your caregiver efforts, but this is not always the case.
Sometimes, forms of criticism are more subtle and can be more difficult to detect. Recognizing these are an important step toward addressing the situation and resolving it effectively.
-Some forms of criticism from your family during your care efforts include:
-Asking you to explain choices you’ve made about your parent’s care
-Second-guessing things you have decided for your parent
-Going behind you and changing what you’ve done, or altering plans you’ve made for them
-Doing things for your parent you have specifically asked them not to do, or that go against your usual care efforts, such as bringing them food that is not on their doctor-recommended diet
-Suggesting you do not spend enough time with your parent, or that you do not do enough for them
-Suggesting your parent would be better off if they were cared for by another member of the family
-Suggesting your parent’s concerns or challenges are related to you not doing enough for them, or making mistakes
-Pointing out things throughout the home that they perceive as wrongs, such as clutter or an unmade bed
-Telling you about how other people care for their parents, and what they think you should learn from that
Giving back-handed compliments, such as “You’re doing a good job for someone with three children in school. You can’t be expected to remember to do everything well when you have so many other things to think about”
Caring for an elderly adult can be fulfilling, meaningful, and memorable, but it can also be very stressful and challenging.
This is particularly true if you don’t feel as though you have the support of those around you. This lead to further stress, anxiety, depression, and even burnout. When this happens, you diminish not only your own health and well-being but also the quality of the care you give your aging parent. Fortunately, you are not alone. Senior care can be an exceptional way to reduce your stress, ease tension, and ensure your parent gets the care they need. This is a valuable way not only to protect yourself in your care journey, but also to create a stable, consistent, and customized quality of care for your loved one.