The holiday season is a wonderful time for families to reconnect and spend quality time together, catching up on the ups and downs of life. But for those providing care for a senior loved one, the holidays can also serve as an opportunity for other family members to critique the level of care being provided, which can naturally result in feelings of defensiveness and frustration.
If you find yourself engaging in conversations in which the quality of your caregiving role is being questioned, the following tips, courtesy of the Arizona home health care professionals at Nightingale Homecare, can help:
- Turn the tables. The stress of being on the receiving end of caregiving criticism can be lessened by turning the conversation to how the other person would suggest handling the situation if he or she were in your shoes. You then have the choice of taking the person’s recommendations or not, but either way, the discussion can then turn to a less difficult topic.
- Try active listening. The art of active listening provides the benefit of letting the person speaking to you know that he or she has been heard while also sharing, in a non-confrontational way, how hurtful a particular comment may have been, as the person speaking hears it repeated back. Use “I” statements to share how something made you feel. An example might be a family member stating, “I don’t have time to help with Dad’s care,” with an appropriate response being, “I feel that my time is less valued than yours when you say you don’t have time to help with Dad’s care.”
- Remain assertive. It’s ok to stand up for yourself – politely and maturely, of course – when a critical comment oversteps your boundaries. For instance, if someone accuses you of not caring enough to make sure the senior wears a matching outfit, you can clarify that you do care very much, explaining that the senior insists on wearing particular pieces of clothing and is most comfortable when wearing them.
Providing care for a senior loved one at home is challenging on its own, and additionally stressful when coupled with criticism from others. Partnering with a professional in-home care agency, such as Nightingale Homecare, can help ease the tension for family caregivers by assisting with a full range of senior care services as needed, keeping older adults safe and thriving at home and allowing family members a much-needed break in providing care.
We’d love to talk with you about how our Arizona home health care services can help your senior loved one. Contact us any time at (602) 504-1555 to schedule a free in-home consultation to learn more.