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How to Have a Normal Life as a Caregiver

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Life as a caregiver can be a source of great satisfaction. It feels great to know that someone you love is well-cared for owing to your time and dedication to see them enjoy a better quality of life.

However, after a long time of dedicating yourself to caregiving efforts, you may start becoming distant and antisocial – perhaps due to constant worry or guilt.

The truth is that you have needs too, so you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself.

If you are a caregiver for your parent, here’s how to avoid caregiver resentment and lead a normal life.

Maintain Your Friends

If your friends don’t hear from you or see you much, they will soon lose touch with you. Perhaps they invited you to events or outings on many occasions but you turned them down owing to your caregiving duties.

Try dedicating one or two weekends in a month to catch up with your friends albeit for a couple of hours.

Find a reliable relative or close friend to stay in with your loved one while you are away. This way, you don’t get distracted or feel guilty thinking that something might go wrong in your absence.

Shun Caregiver Resentment by Letting People In

“They have no idea how hard it is to take care of a loved one.” “They don’t know what I am dealing with.” “They will look down on me.” These are some of the little lies you tell yourself every time someone tries to get to know you.

As an adult caregiver, your life is far more challenging than normal people’s lives. But this is by no means an excuse to shut people out of your life. When you let people in, you will soon realize that everything you were afraid of was just misplaced fear.

Be Honest with Yourself and Others

Be honest with your friends and family, but most importantly, be honest with yourself.

At times your parent or loved one’s health conditions may deteriorate fast. During this time, you really can’t get yourself to go out with friends or do anything else.

Be truthful and update them on what has happened. Tell them that you won’t be available because you need to be present for your loved one.

Don’t try to beat around the bush or say that you will be meeting with them only for you to be a no show. If they are your real friends they will understand your absence.

Have Your Happy Hour Each Day

Set aside an hour or more each day when you take time to be social. You can make phone calls to people you miss, call your best friend and just talk, go through social media, go for lunch dates, attend a church service or go to the gym.

If you feel depressed and overwhelmed, consider discussing your options with a nursing home lawyer.

Dedicate some hours of your day to doing something other than caregiving. This way, you maintain some sense of self and avoid the undesirable caregiver resentment.

Avoid Caregiver Resentment: Give Yourself a Break

Chronic illness and age are the main culprits behind why loved ones may need caregivers. If you are the one tasked with this noble job you must be able to understand yourself.

The unpredictability that comes with this job can’t be overlooked. So, give yourself a break and use the methods prescribed above to maintain some sense of self. This is vital for beating the issue of caregiver resentment.

Check out our blog on the surprising health benefits associated with smiling.

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