April 6, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

From the moment you woke up this morning up until the end of an exhausting day, you have given your all to your older family member. You provided help with showering and dressing, prepared nutritious meals, cleaned the house, all while making sure the person was happily involved in enjoyable activities, made it for their 3:00 hair appointment, and picked up prescriptions and groceries afterwards. And while you are not doing any of these things for a pat on the back, a simple “thank you” would be nice – but is rarely offered.

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

  1. Make an effort to understand their perspective. There are a number of reasons a senior may not be expressing gratitude for the tasks you are doing. Someone with dementia or another chronic condition could be fully focused on their own struggles or even the day-to-day tasks close at hand that are now more challenging. 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.
  2. Start modeling appreciative behavior. Let the senior see by example how good it feels to be appreciated by genuinely thanking them whenever the chance emerges, regardless of how small. When they fold and hang up the towel after their shower, clean off the table after dinner, or help with putting away groceries – make sure to thank them.
  3. Learn the skill of self-appreciation. The work you are doing is extremely important, and you deserve to be rewarded for it. Choose something each week that you are going to do for yourself for a job well done. It can be as simple as an hour spent reading on the porch swing or a cookie from your favorite bakery. You can also plan for larger rewards, such as a weekend getaway, by engaging respite care services from a trusted home care independent living partner like At Home Independent Living.

We are always available to share in your caregiving duties, to alleviate stress and allow you sufficient time for self-care. Consistently scheduled time away is essential, and we are here for just as much or as little as you need. While you are caring for yourself, we’ll help an older adult you love with:

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

Contact At Home Independent Living for a complimentary in-home consultation and let us know how we can help.