An honest look at the sucky parts of caregiving
Ann Brenoff became a caregiver to her husband when he suddenly went into acute kidney failure. She wrote an article about her recent experiences for the Huffington Post titled No, Caregiving Is NOT Rewarding. It Simply Sucks.
Ann writes honestly about how angry she feels when people (and brochures) talk about how rewarding caregiving is. She says “It is many things, but rewarding isn’t one of them. It is life-disrupting, frustrating, painful and heart-wrenching. It is time-consuming, exhausting, frightening and depressing. I have scratched off the film on my caregiving lotto ticket and have seen nothing that even comes close to a reward.”
Of course Ann loves her husband, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t frustrated and angered by everything that’s been thrust upon her. As his health advocate, she’s forced to constantly fight with social workers, doctors, and other staff to get him the care he needs. Their lives will never be the same and there’s a tough road ahead.
Caregivers deal with conflicting emotions
Being a caregiver is no picnic and none of us asked for this all-consuming job. It’s a constant struggle – against the healthcare system, our own bodies and minds, and even against our older adults when they can’t or won’t cooperate.
It’s natural to have strong emotions, even conflicting ones. We can be sad, angry, compassionate, frustrated, anxious, loving, and totally fed up and burned out…sometimes all at once.
Get caregiver stress relief from venting feelings
Don’t feel like you need to deny your true feelings. Letting your emotions out is an effective way for caregivers to relieve stress and cope with what’s happening. We applaud Ann for speaking openly about her challenges and sharing how she really feels.
Non-caregivers may not be able to understand, but that doesn’t mean you always have to be strong and silent. Find people you can vent freely to – friends, family, and caregiver support groups are good places to start, We bet anyone who’s been in similar caregiving situations will absolutely get it and that expressing yourself will help you feel at least a little better.
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Home Instead Senior Care, Mission Viejo