When you’re caring for a family member, you want to make sure that you’re doing all that you can for her. Meeting her needs and anticipating what she might need down the road can take up a lot of time and energy. When those plans fall through or when the situation changes in midstream, you can feel out of control very quickly.
Whether your elderly family member has a serious health condition, or she might down the road, something that can help is for you to learn as much as you can about what she’s facing. You can’t change or reverse what’s going on, but understanding what’s happening and what is likely to happen can make a big difference for your own sense of control.
Plan, But Not Too Much
Planning your elder’s care and her daily routines can help you to feel much more in control of what’s happening. When something happens to throw those plans out of whack, though, you can start to feel out of control again. The key is to plan, but to also leave some room for flexibility along the way. That way you’ve got some room when the unexpected comes up and blindsides you.
Consider a Support Group
Support groups give you a chance to meet other caregivers and to share your experiences. They also allow you to learn what has worked for other caregivers and how they’ve been able to handle a variety of situations. By the time someone has been a caregiver for a longer period of time, that desire to control every aspect of what’s going on can fade a good bit. Caregivers with that kind of experience can help you to understand what worked for them.
Consciously Work on Letting Go
If you’re experiencing issues around control, one of the things you might need to do is to learn how to consciously let go. There are very few aspects of life that anyone really has true control over, but it’s still a difficult skill to master. It’s okay to not be able to micromanage every single detail and the more you practice learning that skill, the easier it will become. One way to do work on this is to hire elder care providers and to leave things in their hands now and again.
It’s natural to want to manage everything for your senior, but there are plenty of aspects of her life and her care that you can’t control down to the last detail.