If your other family members are making caregiving so much more difficult than it has to be, there might actually be a reason. They’re probably not trying to deliberately make you see red, but that can be the unintended side effect when there is so much going on.
Old Tapes Play Loudly
The mental health field sometimes refers to old patterns from childhood as “tapes” that your brain plays that let it know how to react. What this means is that you and your siblings, for example, may have had a specific pattern of dealing with each other or with your elderly family member. Now that you’re her caregiver, those tapes are still playing, even if they aren’t appropriate for the situation.
New Feelings Rise Up
In addition, you and your other family members are dealing with whole sets of new feelings due to the situation that your elderly family member is in. Those new feelings go to war with the old tapes and a whole lot of confusion can erupt, for you and for your other family members. If you’re not all working through those feelings, then the situation gets even more complicated.
There’s a Bit of Competition Going On
It’s also possible that you and your other family members are competing with each other, even without realizing it. Everyone wants to do and be the best for your aging adult, and sometimes that means that toes get stepped on. Other family members might feel upset that you’re the primary family caregiver, even if it’s not feasible for them to do it themselves.
Learn to Lean on Each Other
Leaning on each other during this difficult time can help everyone so very much. Let your other family members know how they can help you and what you need from them and from the situation. It’s still possible that you’ll rely more heavily on elderly care providers for full respite care, but know that you can also work this out with your other family members. Sometimes they just want to be asked to help you.
These causes don’t fit every situation, of course. If you and your other family members are having significant problems, consider seeing a counselor or therapist together.
For elderly care in Mt. Laurel, NJ, and the surrounding areas, call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.