Feeling Anger When Caregiving
It is important to understand as a caregiver that you will have good and bad days. There will be days when you feel great about what you are doing, and days when you feel anger and resentment. It is normal and it is okay to have these feelings. The important thing is to not let those feelings impact your actions. The following are a few things to consider if you are feeling anger when caregiving:
- Give yourself a break. Give yourself permission to have feelings, and recognize that those feelings don’t control your actions. This will help you feel a lot less guilt, and help you to get over your anger more quickly.
- Meet your needs too. Far too many caregivers run themselves into the ground trying to meet the needs of their loved ones. You need to take care of your needs too. Consider this: If a friend ran out of gas, could you drive a can of gas to them if you were out too? By taking care of yourself first, you will be a more effective, and far happier caregiver. It will give you what you need to increase and improve your caring, and remove a lot of guilt.
- Ask for help. If you find that you are regularly feeling anger as a caregiver, it may be time to make a change. Many family caregivers think they have to do it all, and they do not ask for help because they do not want to admit they can’t do it all, or burden others. There are many resources caregivers can use for help, from senior centers to home delivered meals. Caregivers can delegate some responsibility, and should if feeling overwhelmed.
- Use the right tools to make life easier. Caregivers that find themselves feeling anger may simply be overwhelmed and frustrated. This is often a result of inadequate, improper, or insufficient tools to meet the needs of their loved one. For example, if a loved one suffers from incontinence, and they do not have the right absorbent products, the caregiver may find themselves cleaning up leaks, doing extra laundry, and more. Simply changing to a better fitting, or more appropriate absorbent product could eliminate a lot of work.
- Find an outlet. Caregiving often involves difficult and unpleasant tasks, little thanks, and even less time for personal relationships and hobbies. This can lead to anger and resentment, so find an outlet for your feelings. A friend you can complain to. A forum with other caregivers, a hobby you enjoy that can help you reduce stress.
Being a caregiver is hard; it involves much time, much energy, and boatloads of patience. Give yourself a break when that patience runs out and you find yourself feeling angry. Instead of trying not to feel anger, look for productive ways to become a more effective caregiver.