Providing long-term care for a senior loved one is challenging enough without the added stress of receiving criticism. However, caregivers often encounter unsolicited advice from family and friends who may not truly understand the situation. While it may not always be possible to stop someone from criticizing your caregiving routine, it’s possible to take control of how you respond to the situation by implementing the following strategies for handling critical remarks.
Acknowledge the Emotions & Move On
No matter how well-meaning the criticism may be, the truth is it can hurt. Take a few minutes away from the situation to let out any negative emotions. A brief cry, a long walk, or time spent journaling about your feelings can allow you to release your emotions so you won’t be held back by negativity.
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 Surrey 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.
Consider the Source
Considering the source can be an effective strategy for handling caregiver criticism because it gives you insight into why someone is asserting his or her opinion. Often, criticism stems from other issues that aren’t related to the quality of care you provide. Sibling rivalries, guilt, and feelings of helplessness could all be possible reasons for someone to add his or her two cents without considering your feelings. One family member might be criticizing your care because he or she craves attention, while another might feel guilty because he or she lives far away and can’t help with providing care for your loved one. If the criticism is coming from your parent, he or she could be reacting to fear and anxiety about his or her health condition. Once you identify the motivation, you can then address the true issue.
Open Up Constructive Dialogue
Although critical remarks can be difficult to tolerate, they may provide an opportunity to initiate a constructive conversation regarding how things could be done differently. If you note some measure of truth in the criticism, ask for feedback regarding ideas for how you might streamline the process of providing care. When doing so, establish a calm setting for the discussion to ensure it stays positive.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted elderly home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
Ask for Support
As much as you might not want to hear it, there may sometimes be a little truth to the criticism you receive. For example, your spouse may say you spend too much time caring for your loved one when he or she is just worried about you taking on too much stress. If you find the criticism is justified, ask for help. Caregivers who have a network of support are better able to handle the challenges they encounter. Ask your friends and family members to take over specific tasks so you can occasionally have a break, or arrange for respite care. Then use this time to relax and renew your focus on providing the highest quality of care to your loved one.
Providing care for a loved one isn’t easy, and family and friends aren’t always available to give you the support you need. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Surrey, BC, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. If you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (778) 279-3634.