The Emotional Side of Caregiving

When you have a family member who requires caregiving, you may feel obligated to take on the role of a caregiver. Perhaps you have already begun to take on certain caregiving responsibilities without realizing what it will entail emotionally. Aside from physical exhaustion, financial obligations and time-sensitive responsibilities, caregiving can be extremely emotionally demanding. It is important to know what kind of emotional traits and resources you will need in order to provide your loved one with the best care.

Common Emotional Caregiving Qualities Responsibilities

  • You are available throughout the day and won’t become distracted or forgetful.
  • You are dependable and understand the importance of their medical appointments.
  • You are sympathetic to placing their needs above your own, even when it comes to basic, every-day tasks.
  • You stay calm when under a lot of pressure, for example, when submitting legal and financial paperwork or if there is a medical emergency.

Important Steps to Take

  • Fully understand the medical diagnosis of your loved one in order to provide the most effective and empathetic care.
  • Keep an open line of communication with your loved one whenever possible and find out their own wishes and desires when it comes to their health.
  • Keep a collection of resources that you may find useful at any time, from emotional support groups in the community to legal and medical contacts that you can seek advice from.
  • Have your own support system, either mentally, financially or physically. Having someone or something you can rely on for help will relieve some of the stress of becoming a caregiver.

Be Prepared and Stay Informed

It is important to prepare yourself for caregiving and utilize support and available resources to avoid mental and emotional burnout. Taking the necessary steps and understanding the qualities you will need to perform this role is crucial for not only yourself, but you’re your loved one, as well. If you think certain tasks will have a negative impact on your own emotional wellbeing, don’t be afraid to seek caregiving assistance. For more information, visit our Caregiving Tips and Tools page.