Patience is an Important Trait for Family Caregivers
How patient are you? If your family, friends, and work seem to be pulling you in 100 directions, how well do you handle the pressure? When you’re a family caregiver, patience is one of the most important traits to have. It doesn’t always seem easy, however.
Learn how to be more patient. Here are some of the best ways to be as patient as possible in different situations.
Know When to Say No
Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed. It’s hard telling others no, but you need to learn to put your foot down. There are ways to say no without hurting feelings. If others still react negatively. That’s on them.
Imagine your sister asks you to watch her kids again while she and her husband have another weekend alone. It’s the fourth time this summer. When you tell her no, be honest and explain you’re overwhelmed by work, household obligations, and parents’ care.
Walk Away and Regroup
When your parents are particularly argumentative, it’s tough to stay calm. If they’re in a bad mood, it can trigger your own attitude to turn negative. Know when to walk off and regroup.
Your mom has Alzheimer’s and refuses to get in the shower. She says she’s already bathed, but she smells sweaty and sour. You can’t let her skip another day. Don’t argue with her. Walk away and do something that distracts her. Music is one of the best ways to change her mood.
Once she’s calmed down, come up with a different approach. If she’s been fighting a shower, see if she’d like to relax in a bubble bath. The change may be enough to appeal to her. If that doesn’t work, bribery may be needed. Offer her an ice cream cone in the shower to eat while you bathe her.
Try a Fitness Program Like Yoga
Exercise is a great way to de-stress. If you pair that exercise with meditation, which is common in Tai Chi and Yoga, it benefits your body and mental health. Find easy-to-follow instructional videos online, on streaming services like YouTube, or at area wellness practices.
At the very least, get outside and take a walk in nature every day. Ease frustration by smelling the flowers, feeling the sun on your face, and hearing the birds sing.
Focus on Yourself First
It seems logical to want to be there for your spouse, significant other, parents, siblings, and children. If doing so means you’re pushing your own needs aside, it’s time to make some changes. When you’re stressed, you’re less likely to be patient.
Hire professional caregivers to help your parents. If you have breaks from their care, you can focus on self-care. Go out and socialize, have quiet time to yourself, do something fun, and enjoy yourself. If you’re taking care of yourself, you’re going to return to your parents’ home refreshed and energized.
Call a home care agency and ask to talk to a specialist. Discuss the things you do to help your parents each day. You’ll learn more about pricing and come up with a schedule. Caregivers will stop by and assist your parents as needed to keep them independent at home.