Caregiver Resentment: Feeling Unappreciated as a Family Caregiver

From the moment you woke up this morning up until the end of a tiring day, you have given your all to your older loved one. You provided help with showering and dressing, prepared delicious meals, cleaned the house, all while making sure your senior loved one was happily involved in enjoyable activities, made it to their 2:00 hair appointment, and picked up groceries and prescriptions afterwards. And while you’re not doing any of these things for a pat on the back, a simple “thank you” would be nice – but is seldom offered.

If you are feeling under-appreciated or completely unappreciated altogether, you’re not alone. This is definitely a typical occurrence in caregiving for a number of reasons, and when not addressed, can cause caregiver resentment or depression. These tips can help.

  1. Start modeling appreciative behavior. Let the senior see by example how nice it feels to be appreciated by genuinely thanking them whenever the opportunity arises, regardless of how small. If they fold and hang up the towel after their bath, clean off the table after lunch, or help with putting away groceries – make sure to thank them.
  2. Try to understand their perspective. There are a number of reasons a senior loved one may not be expressing gratitude for the task you’re doing. Someone with dementia or another chronic condition may be fully focused on their own struggles or the day-to-day tasks at hand that are now more difficult. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes can help you accept that the lack of verbal appreciation doesn’t necessarily equate to true ungratefulness.
  3. Learn the skill of self-appreciation. The work you’re doing is incredibly important, and you deserve to be rewarded for it. Choose something each week that you’re going to do for yourself for a job done well. It can be as simple as an hour spent reading on the porch swing or a cookie from your favorite bakery. You may also want to plan for larger rewards, for example, a long weekend getaway, by engaging respite care services from a reliable care partner like Seniorcorp.

We are always here to share in your caregiving duties, to ease stress and allow you plenty of time for self-care. Consistently scheduled time away is vital, and we’re here for just as much or as little as you need. While you are caring for yourself, we will help a senior you love with:

  • Laundry and housekeeping
  • Transportation to fun outings or appointments
  • Personal care (showers, baths, getting dressed, etc.)
  • Companionship for conversations, puzzles, games, hobbies, exercise, etc.
  • Medication reminders
  • Meals
  • And so much more, according to each person’s unique needs

Reach out to Seniorcorp at 757-640-0557 for a free of cost in-home consultation and to learn more about our award-winning Norfolk home care. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.