Caring for an elderly parent can be rewarding, but also extremely frustrating and lonely at times. While your main goal of caregiving springs from a place of love, it can be quite easy to want to give up, especially when a parent is being stubborn.
Luckily, you are not alone. Throughout history, caring for an elderly parent has been a rite of passage, and something that most of us come to expect. We’ve put together this collection of inspirational quotes about caregiving in an effort to provide you with a stronger sense of community during those times when caregiving seems to be getting you down.
Inspirational Caregiving Tips
Tip #1: What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
“When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.” -Haruki Murakami
Caregiving is tough. For some, it may be one of the biggest challenges you’ve ever faced. And while caring for an elderly parent can conjure up difficult emotions (both positive and negative), being able to work through them can have a powerful effect on the rest of your life. If you have a strong wave of emotions bubbling up, don’t push them back down; talk to your spouse, a friend, or a therapist to better understand them and manage them. Just like being in the middle of the storm, the only way you can get out sometimes is to go through it.
Tip #2: Remember That Family Comes First
“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” -Michael J. Fox
Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook, so even though your parents might have made mistakes while you were growing up, they still loved you to the best of their ability. Family isn’t perfect, but the unconditional love it takes to raise a child is the same unconditional love it takes to serve as a caregiver to an older parent. The important thing isn’t how well you do it, but that you are giving and generous with your love to the best of your ability (see Tip #4). You may not be able to be with them all the time due to work and other family obligations, but making the effort to put them first during this stage of life can make a big difference to both of you. After all, your loved ones won’t be around forever.
Tip #3: Accept That Which You Can’t Change (And Change What You Can!)
“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.” -Amy Tan
Caring for an elderly parent can create a lot of stress and anger at times, which can start to take a toll on your behavior. If you feel as though caregiving has you down in the dumps, or is causing you to lash out at others around you, it might be time for an attitude adjustment. You must accept the fact that caregiving isn’t a “forever” job and that the frustrations you are feeling are fleeting. Once you recognize this, you can introduce different techniques into your life to better manage your stress levels. For instance, you can implement a regular meditation practice, start a gratitude journal or try breathing exercises.
Tip #4: Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
“It’s not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” -Mother Theresa
As a caregiver, it’s easy to feel as though you could always be doing more, or struggle with feelings of guilt. But you must remember that you are only human, and you are doing the best that you can! We often put impossible pressure on ourselves to strive for perfection or to be everything to everyone--often at our own expense. The importance of self-care while caring for an elderly parent should not be overlooked. It’s just like that airplane metaphor that everyone loves--you have to put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else put on their mask.
Tip #5: With Fear Comes Courage
“Being loved deeply by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” -Laozi
Navigating the world of caregiving can be a scary obstacle course at times. It’s only natural to be fearful of the unknown, but your own strength to barrel through it might surprise you. And while your love for your parent may be the inspiration for that strength, courage provides you with the willpower to keep going. Many people might view caring for an elderly parent as a required duty, but we see caregiving as being heroic. To put the needs of your loved one ahead of your own, to go above and beyond for them so that they are comfortable and to provide them with love as their health declines, is no small thing. It takes a lot of courage to do that for another human being, and you should be proud of yourself!
It’s not easy taking on the responsibility of caring for a loved one. Medical Guardian medical alert devices will provide you with the piece of mind of knowing that your loved one is safe and give you a break when you need it.
Having a helping “hand” to lean can provide you with more guilt-free time for yourself, which in the end will only make you a better caregiver to your loved one.