You can’t always be there. But we can.
During your time as a caregiver, you might find that a health crisis doesn’t bring out the best in some of your other family members. Connecting with them about your senior’s health before or in between crises can help the next time something big happens.
Reach Out to Them First
If it’s at all possible, it’s a good idea to reach out to your other family members first. Let them know what daily life is like for you and your elderly family member. Take advantage of situations such as birthdays and holidays to help bridge any gaps in your communication. If you’re already making an effort, it might be much easier to bring them further into your senior’s life.
Keep Them Informed about Your Senior’s Life
Sometimes a health crisis can be so upsetting and shocking for other family members because they don’t really understand what’s going on with your elderly family member. If you’ve been able to open some lines of communication, it might be a good idea to share bits and pieces about what’s going on with your elderly family member’s health and well-being. Some family members might be more open to this than others are and they may be able to help you continue to bridge gaps.
Listen to Suggestions
It’s really difficult sometimes to hear from other family members what you “should” and “could” be doing. This is especially true if they’re not involved in your senior’s daily life very often. The best thing to do in this situation is to listen with an open mind to the suggestions you’re getting and respond that you’ll definitely take their suggestions under advisement. Remaining noncommittal can help you to gracefully navigate the conversation without rubbing anyone the wrong way.
Take Care of Yourself
Caregiving is tough and it’s even more difficult when you feel as if you’re the one who has to do all the heavy lifting. More than ever, you need to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. Assess what you’re doing well in terms of self-care and what you could be doing better. Consider hiring home health care providers who can take over for you while you pay attention to your own needs for a few hours a week.
It isn’t easy to balance what your other family members expect from you as a caregiver with what your senior truly needs. When you know that you’ve done all that you can do, though, you can rest a little easier in the decisions and choices that you need to make.