Who Takes Care of the Caregiver? - Dealing with FRUSTRATION
Frustration is one of those emotions that is felt by both the person who is ill and also felt by the caregiver. Those with the illness are frustrated with their bodies not healing like they had hoped or maybe the patient is frustrated with the amount of time that recovery is taking. Caregivers might be frustrated that the sick/patient will not listen to their advice or suggestions. Maybe the caregiver is frustrated because the patient (in their distress) might be insulting or exasperating to the caregiver.
I'm going to give you an example using the disease of Alzheimer's/dementia. I took care of my father-in-law and for the last two years of his life he had dementia (as well as many other ailments but we will just focus on dementia). Literally almost every night I had to get up in the middle of the night (1:33AM, 3AM, 5:15AM etc) because he was calling out in distress. When I reached his room I found out that all he wanted to know was the location of his wallet and checkbook (he became paranoid about misplacing his money). I always tried to answer him calmly "your wallet and checkbook are right here within arms reach under your mattress." That constant repetition of me having to get up and answer the exact same question, sometimes multiple times a night (plus loss of sleep), made me feel like I was going crazy - it was extremely frustrating.
The question of the day is:
As a Caregiver, how can I deal with frustration?
Let's begin by defining "frustration".
FRUSTRATION - Feeling or expressing distress and annoyance, especially because of inability to change or achieve something. Feeling discouragement, anger and annoyance because of unresolved problems. Disappointed, discouraged, dishearted, irked, cramped, defeated, ungratified, stymied.
Two things are necessary when dealing with frustration:
1. Having patience
2. Finding encouragement
Often, elderly people with dementia become mean and nasty. If this happens, you have to remind yourself that this nastiness is not their true personality - it's just part of the disease. Whether you are caring for someone who is repeating everything countless times a day, or if you are caring for someone who is incontinent (and therefore making messes that you have to clean up) - just respond with patience. Take a deep breath and do NOT show your annoyance. They are not doing these things on purpose - it's just part of their disease. Read the verse above - overlook these insults, repetitions and messes and reply/clean up with patience.
Finding encouragement might seem almost impossible if you are the sole caregiver. You might even find yourself in a situation where (because of the constant care you give), you have not been able to attend church and no longer have the backup help from a church family. Do not fret - you still have encouragement available anywhere and anytime. It's God! Through His Word and prayer you will find encouragement!
In the verse above we see that "God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit." The word "poured" implies that there is a huge amount of love! That love will not only help us respond to others with patience but God's love will also give us encouragement and comfort.
The passage above reminds us that all we need is Christ - Jesus said: "My grace is sufficient for you." And especially when we are frustrated, Christ's power will strengthen and encourage us to continue caregiving.
You will be able to find encouragement through prayer and meditation on God's Word!
Previous CAREGIVER posts:
Dealing with EXHAUSTION
Dealing with FEAR
Dealing with UNFAIRNESS
Other helpful posts:
FORGIVENESS - Basic Questions & Answers
15 Tips - When a Loved One is in the Hospital
Taking Care of Your Family
What Happens When Those in Authority Ask You To Go Against God's Law?
Copyright, Permissions& Disclaimer
Happiness is Homemade
Over the Moon Link Party
Thursday Favorite Things
You're the STAR
Tuesdays with a Twist
Friday Feature Linky Party
Pretty Pintastic Party
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