April 7, 2022
From the moment you woke up this morning until the end of an exhausting day, you’ve given your all to the family member you care for. You provided help with showering and dressing, prepared nutritious meals, and cleaned the house, all while making sure your senior loved one was happily involved in meaningful activities, made it to their 2:00 hair appointment, and picked up prescriptions and groceries afterwards. And even though you’re not doing any of these things for a pat on the back, a simple “thank you” would be nice – but is rarely offered.
If you’re feeling underappreciated or completely unappreciated altogether, you are not the only one. Feeling unappreciated as a family caregiver is definitely a common occurrence in caregiving for a variety of reasons, and when not addressed, it can result in caregiver depression or burnout. These strategies can help.
- Make an effort to understand their perspective. There are a number of reasons a senior may not be expressing gratitude for the task you’re doing and leaving you feeling unappreciated as a family caregiver. Someone with dementia or another chronic condition could be fully focused on their particular struggles or even the day-to-day tasks at hand which are now more challenging. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes can help you accept that a lack of verbal appreciation doesn’t automatically equate to true ungratefulness.
- Learn the art of self-appreciation. The work you’re doing is incredibly important, and you deserve to be rewarded for it. Choose something each week that you are going to do for yourself for a job well done. It may be as simple as an hour spent reading on the front porch or a muffin from your favorite bakery. You can also plan for larger rewards, for example, a long weekend getaway, by engaging respite care services from a trusted care partner like Continuum, a top provider of private home care in St. Louis, MO and nearby areas.
- Start modeling appreciative behavior. Let the older adult see by example how good it feels to be appreciated by sincerely thanking them whenever the opportunity arises, regardless of how small. When they fold and hang up the towel after their shower, wipe off the table after lunch, or help with putting away groceries – be sure to thank them.
We are always here to share in your caregiving duties to relieve stress and allow you plenty of time for self-care. Consistently scheduled time away is essential, and we are here for as much or as little as you need. While you’re caring for yourself, we’ll help a senior you love with:
- Transportation to appointments or fun outings
- Laundry and housekeeping
- Medication reminders
- Companionship for conversations, games, puzzles, hobbies, exercise, etc.
- Personal care (showers, baths, getting dressed, etc.)
- And so much more, in accordance with each person’s unique needs