The Neglect Experienced By Caregivers

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Caregivers often neglect their own well being in the effort of caring for an aged parent. Living with another person is difficult at the best of times. When that person is frail, aged and often grumpy or ungrateful, then it becomes even more difficult. Many older people seem to feel that any help offered is either unnecessary or the wrong kind of help.

They appear to favor the adult child who does nothing for them over the one who is forever at their beck and call. This can lead to feelings of bitterness or anger, often followed by guilt. But if the carer recognizes that this is often a normal state of affairs, it becomes manageable. The carer must take time out to nurture herself and attend to her own needs from time to time. Simply having another person to talk to about it, can make a difference.

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The senior often does not realize that they are being negative or selfish in their needs. They are simply trying to survive their age as best they can. Making sure they have plenty of interaction with other people will help them to be less dependent on the caregiver for emotional support. And it will give the carer an emotional break from the constant task of caring. And if the carer takes time out regularly to pursue an interest, they will feel refreshed.

Respite facilities are available in most communities. It may be an aged care facility that the senior can go to for a week or a few days. This is often a free service and the carers should avail themselves of it as often as needed. It will also get the senior used to being in a place to which he or she may have to move permanently at some stage.

If this is not available, then other arrangements can be made. All the family needs to be involved in caring for the senior, offering respite for the main caregiver at regular intervals. The senior can stay with other members for a week or two while the carer takes a little time off. Or another family member may come to the home and stay, while the main caregiver takes a holiday.

If the caregiver works at an outside job, their task will be doubly difficult. Many companies offer aids and benefits in caring for aged parents or children, so find out if yours does and don’t hesitate to avail yourself of them. They may offer you flexi-time, subsidized back up plans, counseling services and help to find other services you need. No one can be discriminated against for their role of care-giving. 

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