Being Grateful as a Caregiver

Help them as they helped you

The role of a caregiver can be very stressful and coping with the emotional drain is a difficult challenge. There is the additional emotion of anger to cope with when the things do not go well or the feelings of resentment towards other siblings for not sharing the responsibility or even towards the parent as being the cause for all the emotional drain on you. Balancing your work, home and private life along with fulfilling the role of a caregiver can be a juggling act that few can manage well. Just as you may find the balance, the needs of your elderly parent change and you are drawn back into another stressful situation.

In order to cope with the stressful situations you may have to manage your time better to find some time for you and your family. These are not easy situations and one needs great self control and maturity to manage the stress involved. However, there is one emotion that can be said to compensate for the emotional drain that a caregiver experiences and that is thankfulness. You may be in the middle of a demanding situation and thankfulness is not usually an emotion in such times. Yet if you can be thankful for the opportunity to be the primary care giver to your parent, this positive emotion works wonders for your spirit. It helps to offset the negative emotions of anger and resentment. There are a number of things that one can be thankful for:

  • You have the opportunity to repay your parents to a small extent for the sacrifices they made. All the effort, time and money that they invested in you to raise you as a good human being, is a debt that can never be repaid. But you have the occasion to return some of it in the form of caring for them in their old age. A small way to say 'Thank you for being there for me, now I am there for you.
  • With the elderly, there is something always coming up causing a setback to their spirits. They need someone to give them reassurance and say that everything is all right. You have that occasion and they depend on you for moral support.
  • If you were not staying close to your parents at the time of their need, you would have been anxious and worried about their well being. Since you are with them, you have first hand knowledge of their health conditions and anticipate any other needs that may arise.
  • Celebrate the times spent with each other, and enjoy the joy and laughter that you are able to share with your parent. These are the pleasant memories that will remain with you forever.
  • You, as the caregiver are very important to your aged parents. They need you. You have the good fortune to be at their side during their times of crisis.

Being with a loved one through tough times and offering support, brings a sense of satisfaction to the caregiver. The bond of love between you and your parent will deepen and stay with you for the rest of your life. You may be able to look back at these pleasant memories and be thankful for the opportunity to make the final months of their life peaceful and happy.