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Coping with Criticism from the Care Recipient

By , 5:14 pm on

Criticism from a loved one is never easy, but this may be especially so for the caregiver of an aging parent. The caregiver will often sacrifice their time, money and energy to take care of the senior and when he or she becomes critical of the caregiver, this can be very hurtful and often becomes a source of anger. Rather than internalize these feelings, there are ways that the caregiver can cope.

  1. Understand the Criticism – More often than not, the criticisms made by the senior are not directed at the caregiver. The senior may feel upset, hopeless or angry because of the challenges they are facing and may be deflecting those feelings onto their loved one. A simple, “I’m sorry that you are upset” or “that you feel that way” in a compassionate and empathetic tone may often be enough to stop the downward spiral. It is important that the caregiver understand that the criticism doesn’t necessarily stem from his or her own actions.
  2. Involve the Senior – Criticism from the aging parent can cause feelings of inadequacy and make the caregiver feel as though they are doing everything wrong. A great way to cope with this is by ensuring the senior is involved in his or her care. Speaking to them about the day’s schedule, when medical appointments are, and when certain errands need to be completed, can go a long way in helping eliminate some of the burden from the caregiver. And, if things do not necessarily go as intended, it helps hold the senior accountable as well.
  3. Promote Independence – As a leading provider of in-home care in West Bloomfield, we’ve seen that seniors criticize their loved ones because they feel as if they’re losing control over their situation. When or if the senior criticizes something that they can do on their own, use the criticism as an opportunity to promote independence. This helps the caregiver escape the feeling that they are not doing the activity correctly, and can help give the senior a sense of purpose. Although, this may not necessarily eliminate the criticisms all together, it helps lift some of the responsibility for shortcomings from the caregiver.

Criticism from an aging parent is only one of the many challenges that adult children face when providing care for their aging loved ones. If you feel as if your care responsibilities are becoming overwhelming and too much to handle, contact Home Care Assistance today. While we provide care on an hourly basis, we also offer 24/7 live-in care in West Bloomfield. This allows family caregivers to take a step back from their caregiving responsibilities, enjoying peace of mind knowing that their aging mother or father is in professional and caring hands.

To schedule a complimentary, in-home consultation, contact a Care Manager today at 248-283-0835.