Anticipatory grief can be an extremely difficult issue to face as you care for your aging parent.
In your caregiver role you know that you will eventually experience your parent’s end-of-life transition, and as you approach this transition you may begin to feel many of the same signs and challenges of grief. This can be challenging for your mental and emotional health and wellbeing, and even compromise the quality of the care you give your parents. Coping with this type of grief effectively is vital for guarding your own well-being, and continuing to be the caregiver, and adult child, your parent needs.
Use these tips to help you cope with anticipatory grief:
Be willing to talk about it. Expressing the pain and emotions you are feeling help you to work through them, rather than allowing them to worsen. Talk to people you trust, such as your partner, and find a support group designed for people in your position.
Make sure you are taking care of yourself daily. This means getting enough sleep, eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising, and taking care of your emotional needs.
Plan ways to spend quality time with your parent. Your relationship with your senior does not just have to be about the care efforts you give them to help them manage their health challenges or other personal needs. Take the time you have now to spend quality time with your parents, enjoy activities and outings, and make memories you can cherish for years to come.
Work through issues you may have. If you are carrying regrets, hurts, disappointments, or pain from the past in your relationship with your aging parent, take the time now to work through these. Practice forgiveness, and do what you can to heal wounds between the two of you. Be willing to say you’re sorry, and ask for forgiveness, and talk about things that may never have been discussed so you can feel more at ease in your relationship.
One thing you might not have expected when you made the decision to become a family caregiver for your aging parent is all of the emotions you were going to experience.
You may have known you would feel stress and possibly frustration, but you might not have been ready for the anxiety, fear, guilt, and anticipatory grief that can be common among caregivers. These feelings can not only be worsened by caregiver stress but can also cause and worsen a caregiver’s stress.
Relying on the customized services of a home care provider can reduce the stress, and give you the opportunity to focus more on your own mental and emotional well-being. Even if you don’t feel your senior needs a full-time caregiver, utilizing respite care can be invaluable.
With this type of care, a respite care provider steps in to provide consistent care on an urgent or temporary basis to give you time away from your care effort to manage other needs in your life. If you are coping with anticipatory grief, occasionally utilizing a respite care provider gives you the opportunity to rest, relax, and heal so you can be better prepared to focus on caring for your parent.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Berkeley, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203
At Aviva, we also use the latest in health technology to maximize opportunities for communication between all members of our client’s care circles. We utilize nursing oversight to ensure that we are in compliance with physician orders, and that our careplans are being properly administered. Lastly, Aviva is a proud member of The Senior’s Choice, a national network of leading home care agencies that share best practices and focus on continual improvement.
As owner of the business, I also promise to you my direct involvement in your loved ones care, and will always make myself available for feedback and improvements in our service. I look forward to working with you and your loved one on creating a care plan that is perfectly suited to the family's needs. Thank you for considering Aviva as your care partner.
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