From the moment you woke up this morning until the end of an exhausting day, you’ve given your all to your older family member. You provided help with showering and dressing, prepared nutritious meals they enjoyed, cleaned the house, made it to their 3:00 hair appointment, and picked up prescriptions and groceries afterwards, all while making sure your loved one was happily involved in meaningful activities. And even though you are not doing any of these things for a pat on the back, a simple “thank you” would be nice – but those words are almost never spoken.
If you’re feeling under-appreciated or completely unappreciated altogether, you’re not alone. These are common among the many emotions of caregiving for a variety of reasons, and when not addressed, may cause caregiver burnout or depression. These tips can help.
- Make an effort to understand their perspective. There are a number of reasons a senior loved one may not be expressing gratitude for the work you’re doing. Someone with dementia or another chronic condition might be entirely focused on their particular struggles or the day-to-day tasks at hand which may be more challenging than ever. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes will allow you to accept that the lack of verbal appreciation doesn’t necessarily equate to being ungrateful.
- Learn the skill of self-appreciation. The work you’re doing is incredibly important, and you deserve to be rewarded for it. Choose something every week that you are going to do for yourself for a job done well. It could be as simple as an hour spent reading on the porch swing or a muffin from your favorite bakery. You may also want to plan for larger rewards, like a weekend getaway, by engaging respite care services from a trusted care partner like JFS Care.
- Start modeling appreciative behavior. Let the older adult see by example how nice it feels to be appreciated by sincerely thanking them when the opportunity arises, regardless of how small. If they fold and hang up the towel after their shower, wipe off the table after dinner, or help with putting away groceries – make sure to thank them.
We are always available to share in your caregiving duties, to relieve stress and allow you plenty of time for self-care. Regularly scheduled time away is vital in order to maintain the loving care you do each day, and we’re here for as much or as little as you need. While you’re caring for yourself and taking control of the common emotions of caregiving, our professional caregivers will help a senior you love with:
- Personal care (showers, baths, getting dressed, etc.)
- Companionship for conversations, games, puzzles, hobbies, exercise, etc.
- Meal preparation
- Laundry and housekeeping
- Medication reminders
- Transportation to appointments or fun outings
- And much more, in accordance with each person’s unique needs
Get in touch with JFS Care at 213-383-2273 for a free in-home consultation and let us know how we can help. Reach out to learn more about options for Jewish family home care from JFS Care, serving all faiths in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. When you a need a break, we will provide you with peace of mind knowing that your loved one will be receiving the highest quality home care services. Please see our full service area.