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How to Manage Ambivalence When Caregiving

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Caregivers may feel ambivalent about their duties, and their feelings of compassion and duty are often at odds with grief and resentment. If you frequently vacillate between positive and negative emotions, it can lead to depression and anxiety. Here are a few effective ways to manage caregiving ambivalence. 

Learn to Expect Ambivalence

Don’t try to paste a false smile over your frustration, as bottling up negative emotions isn’t a healthy long-term strategy. Instead, find a way to accept all negative and positive emotions during your caregiving journey. Each caregiver manages his or her emotions differently, but finding an appropriate outlet is essential for all. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Oakville Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Understand the Impact of Personal History

Sometimes, caregiver ambivalence is the result of a dissonance caused by changing relationships. Caregivers have years of history with their senior loved ones, both good and bad. When transitioning from a spouse or a child to a caregiver, it can be difficult to navigate the changing emotional landscape. When you feel ambivalent about these shifting roles, accept that the past will inevitably color your new situation. If you feel an old resentment flaring, walk away from the situation for a few minutes, clear your head, and return to your caregiving responsibilities when your negative emotions have abated. 

Learn to Separate Feelings About Caregiving Duties

There are some duties caregivers do not necessarily enjoy. For example, if you feel irritable every time you have to help your loved one take a bath, it shouldn’t affect the love you feel for him or her. When you learn to separate the emotions related to your caregiving duties from the feelings you have for your loved one, you’ll feel less guilty about each negative thought you experience. 

Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Oakville, ON, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Seek Help When Making Important Decisions

Caregivers have to make important decisions all too often. Whether you’re choosing a new medical specialist, altering finances, or deciding on in-home care services, these decisions can have a major impact on your loved one’s health. Constantly making important decisions could leave you feeling ambivalent about the best course of action. When you are at an impasse, ask for decision-making assistance from trusted family members, or get advice from fellow caregivers at a support group. You shouldn’t have to make every decision yourself, and being forced to take on too many responsibilities could lead to indecisiveness and anxiety. When you feel ambivalent about care-related decisions, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to provide high-quality care to your senior loved one without overexerting yourself. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and want additional assistance from a professional elderly caregiver, Oakville Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our caregivers are available for a few hours a day to help seniors with daily tasks, and we also offer 24-hour live-in care for those who need more extensive assistance. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging loved one, call us at (905) 337-1200.

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