Being a caregiver for your aging mom or dad could be compared to a battle. This is even more so if you are caring for a loved one who is terminally ill. That is because the battle you are fighting will ultimately end in the passing of your loved one. But you are committed to their health, happiness and well being and to do all you can to make their golden years as peaceful and enjoyable if you can.
So what would you consider the greatest enemy you fight in this battle? It might be the battle to keep your parent’s medications up to date and to make sure she takes them every day without fail. It is a struggle to keep up with the prescriptions, the frequency of dosage and to make sure your elderly mom or dad stays on top of it too.
The greatest enemy you fight might be financial concerns with the rising cost of rent, food and medical care. Keeping your retired parent’s bills paid and anticipating if they can pay them next month and next year is source of constant worry for you as their caregiver.
But there is one enemy that is bigger than all of these. And the source of this enemy is not the economy or the retirement center or even in something going on with your parent at all. It is an enemy that seeks to hurt you and take you out of the picture. And that enemy is resentment.
Resentment can get into your mind and cause you to begin brooding about things before you even know its happening. But it’s an insidious enemy because if that resentment comes to full fruit, it will damage your willingness and ability to take care of your aging parent and seriously hurt your ability to be a caregiver at all. And if your loved one loses you as his or her primary caregiver, that is the worst loss they can endure because you are the one holding everything together for them.
Some of the resentment might be toward the systems that are supposed to help your parents. The Social Security and Medicare systems are constantly changing and becoming more complex each time some politician decides to use Social Security as a political tool. Resentment can also build up toward the facility where your parent is living if you feel your dad or mom are not getting the kind of care they need.
But the worst kinds of resentment are those you feel toward your siblings or toward the very aging parent that you are there to help. This is a serious problem because if you come to resent those you love the most, that resentment can go very deep and seriously hurt your ability to continue in the struggle to help your parent all you can. It’s easy to resent your siblings because you may have the job of primary caregiver just because you didn’t move far away. But the resentment you feel toward your aging parent is so easy to give in to because it comes from how needy they are and that often that senior citizen seems demanding and ungrateful for what you are trying to do.
So to beat resentment, you have to go back to why you are doing this in the first place. You are not doing it for your siblings and you are not even doing it for the senior himself to be honest about it. You are doing it because they took care of you when you were little and because it’s the right thing to do. And as long as you stay grounded to what is the real purpose of this mission, then you can fight this war and win it for yourself, for your parent and for everyone that loves him or her as well.
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