Caregiving is demanding, but especially so when you are caring for a loved one. Most people get accustomed to managing things independently as adults; therefore, receiving care is often difficult for them emotionally.
This is especially true when the caregiver is a loved one because it makes them feel like a burden. Such feelings are complex and difficult to manage. However, there are some steps you can take to make things less emotionally draining for the loved one receiving your care.
The Dos of Caring for a Loved One
Following is a list of things you should do to make things more comfortable for the person receiving care.
1. Listen to Them and Ask Them How They Feel
They are likely overwhelmed by the situation or have a lot on their mind as everyone does. Take time out to sincerely ask them how they feel and if they want to talk about anything.
Listen to them when they feel comfortable opening up. Elderly or younger adults who need care often retreat into their shells because their ego takes a hit after they end up needing care. Encouraging them to communicate will improve their mental health.
2. Distract Them from Painful Subjects
It is not uncommon for discussions to venture towards painful topics, but try your best to distract your loved one from them. They are already in pain, and the last thing they need is to worry about an additional factor.
3. Give Them Space
Hovering over them all the time will only make them feel helpless, which is counterproductive. Give space to your loved ones and make it easy to communicate when they need help. It will help them feel respected, and they will feel more comfortable reaching out for their needs.
4. Empathize With Them
Your loved ones don’t want to be pitied, least of all by someone they consider family. If you want to help, give them empathy instead of sympathy. Don’t feel sorry for them. Rather, try to understand how they feel and find ways to make them comfortable.
The Don’ts f Caring for a Loved One
We often make mistakes when caring for our loved ones without realizing it. Following are common mistakes you should avoid to make things less awkward.
1. Don’t Make Them Feel Helpless.
Doing every little thing for them is not helpful. It will only make the patients feel like a burden, and they will become disgruntled. Encourage them to continue doing things they can and support them by doing chores that have become difficult.
2. Don’t Dictate
The last thing they need is for a person to treat them like a child. As a caregiver, always ask for the patient’s opinion and encourage them to move forward instead of dictating everything.
Commanding tones especially don’t go well with parents or the elderly, who do not feel comfortable being scolded by people they raised.
In short, caring for a loved one is about taking care of more than just their physical health and comfort. Your care should help them feel emotionally comfortable as well. I have shared my experiences with caregiving in my books so that you can check them out for more details.