Brain injuries are a challenging experience for your aging parent and can leave them suffering consequences for long after the injury, even for the rest of their life. As a family caregiver, however, it is extremely important to recognize that this experience does not just impact them, but you as well. As their caregiver and their adult child, you are likely to experience a range of emotions that can impact your health, well-being, functioning, and the quality of care that you are able to give them. Properly coping with these emotions will protect you as well as your senior.
Use these tips to help you cope with your emotions after your parent suffers a traumatic brain injury:
- Be honest with yourself about your emotions. Evaluate how you are feeling and what you are going through, and be willing to acknowledge them. Doing this will allow you to pursue the proper management for these emotions so that they do not take over your life.
- Evaluate your emotions and try to find the root of them. Many caregivers feel guilt when their parent is going through this type of medical issue. Determine if you really feel guilty because of their care or if your guilt stems from another factor. This will help you to be more honest with yourself and more effective with your management approach.
- Focus less on the injury and more on your parent. Remind yourself that they are still your parent and that even if they are different, they are still the person you love. Focus on giving them the care that they need and spending quality time with them rather than the impact of the loss.
- Seek out support from friends and family, your partner, support groups, and even professionals as needed to help you work through your emotions.
- Take constructive steps to address your emotions. For example, if your anxiety comes from thoughts of not being able to care for your parent well enough, start home care for them so they have access to additional support and care. If you are fearful about your ability to do what your parent would want you to during their end-of-life transition, work with your parent to review their wishes for this transition, including life support, artificial resuscitation, and other issues.
Starting home care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you make for them in the course of your caregiver journey. A home care services provider can be in the home with your parent on a schedule that is customized not just to them and their individual needs and challenges, but also to you and the amount of care that you give them on a regular basis.
This means that they will always have access to the support, care, and assistance that they need, while also keeping you at the forefront of their care routine. The highly personalized services the home care provider will give to your parent are specifically designed to not only address their needs and limitations in the ways that are right for them, but also to encourage them to maintain as much independence as possible and support activity, engagement, and fulfillment as they age in place.