Five Actions to Help Mantain Patience as a Family Caregiver

I found a phenomenal post written by a Kathy Uveges. Having worked with a lot of Primary Caregivers for their own families I have seen first hand how frustrating some days can be caring for an aging family member. Kathy can obviously relate because she writes;

Everyone has a different tolerance level. When you're the primary caregiver for your family, even the calmest people can find themselves pushed a little too far. It's not just you struggling to keep your cool.

You're trying to feed your mom, but she hates everything you've offered. Your dad has an appointment in an hour and he's refusing to get out of bed.  You're frustrated and ready to walk away. Patience isn't always easy to maintain but try these tips. They can help you stay level-headed when your loved one is being more resistant to care than you need.

Make Sure There Are No Underlying Causes for the Mood

A moody parent is one thing. There are situations where that mood is a symptom of something else. Is that refusal to get out of bed tied to depression? If it happens regularly for weeks, it could be. That  agitation could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or a side effect of a new medication. Talk to a doctor if the mood swings stick around.

Ask Your Parent Why They're Having a Bad Day

You can just try asking your loved one why they're having a bad day. They may feel a cold coming on. They may be tired of the same routine and want to try something new. It could simply be the weather has grown tiresome and cabin fever is kicking in. A change of scenery may be all that's needed to improve your loved ones attitude.

Learn to Walk Away

When your loved one is being especially argumentative, just walk away. Don't keep the argument going. Walk away and do something else. If you have to cancel an appointment, call the scheduler and explain the situation. They may be willing waive a penalty or fee if they charge one for same-day cancellations. Odds are if you ignore your parent, your parent will come to you seeking conversation.

Pick Your Battles

Some struggles aren't worth it. Your dad refuses to take a shower. You're tired of fighting him. Let him go without for the day. You may find in a few hours that he's more willing. There are priorities and things you cannot skip. As long as daily medications and doctor-ordered exercises following a fall, stroke, or bone fracture are completed it will be okay, there are other days.

When Was the Last Time You Took a Day or Week Off?

Everyone needs a break. Make sure you're taking a break as a family caregiver. If family members can't step in to help out, call a senior care agency. You want to ask about respite care. While you go on a vacation or simply take time off, caregivers help your parents. Respite care is a senior care option that you cannot ignore.