From the moment you woke up this morning up until the end of a tiring day, you’ve given your all to your older loved one. You provided help with showering and dressing, prepared nutritious meals, cleaned the house, all while making sure your loved one was happily involved in enjoyable activities, made it to their 2:00 hair appointment, and picked up groceries and prescriptions afterwards. And while you are not doing any of these things for a pat on the back, a simple “thank you” as a sign of appreciation for caregivers would be nice – but is rarely offered.
If you are feeling under-appreciated or completely unappreciated altogether, you’re not the only one. This is definitely a frequent occurrence in caregiving for a variety of reasons, and when not addressed, can bring about caregiver depression or burnout. These tips can help.
- Start modeling appreciative behavior. Let the older adult see by example how good it feels to be appreciated by genuinely thanking them whenever the opportunity emerges, regardless of how small. If they fold and hang up the towel after their bath, clean off the table after dinner, or help with putting away groceries – make sure to thank them.
- Learn the skill of self-appreciation. The work you’re doing is extremely important, and you deserve to be rewarded for it. Choose something every week that you’re going to do for yourself for a job done well. It may be as simple as an hour spent reading on the porch swing or a muffin from your favorite bakery. You can also plan for larger rewards, such as a weekend getaway, by engaging respite care services from a trustworthy care partner like Serenity Home Care.
- Try to understand their perspective. There are a number of reasons a senior loved one may not be expressing gratitude for the work you’re doing. Someone with dementia or another chronic condition may be entirely focused on their own struggles or the day-to-day tasks at hand which may now be more challenging. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes will allow you to accept that a lack of verbal appreciation doesn’t automatically equate to true ungratefulness.
When appreciation for caregivers is lacking, we are always available to share in your caregiving duties, to ease stress and allow you ample time for self-care. Frequently scheduled time away is essential, and we are here for as much or as little as you need. While you are caring for yourself, we will help an older adult you love with:
- Medication reminders
- Transportation to appointments or fun outings
- Personal care (baths, showers, getting dressed, etc.)
- Laundry and housekeeping
- Companionship for conversations, puzzles, games, exercise, hobbies, etc.
- And much more, in accordance with each person’s unique needs
Get in touch with Serenity Home Care, the leading provider of respite care in Victoria, BC and surrounding areas, for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.