There are no two ways about it: Taking care of an aging parent is physically and emotionally draining. It is lonely, overwhelming and frustrating. You may think you can’t do it any longer. Parents or siblings often don’t acknowledge or appreciate all that you do. Caregiving seems thankless. You give up your life for another, and no one seems to notice.
Despite all this, you continue on. You wake up every day to face new challenges. You keep going. Why? Because you care. You give up your life to care for another. That is the ultimate act of love. It is a selfless, noble and generous thing to do – one that many people wouldn’t take on.
So give yourself some credit. You are doing one of the most difficult, yet important jobs in the world. And you’re not getting paid to do it. Realize how important your role as a caregiver is.
In times of grief, it is difficult to imagine how in the world caregiving can be seen as a positive experience. But look a little deeper and you will find the silver lining in your clouds.
Caregiving is uncharted territory. You probably were thrust into the role suddenly and were unprepared. There are no courses on how to be a good caregiver. But somehow, you figured it out. You do your best. Caregiving is an accomplishment.
Even with a difficult parent, caregiving can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. When you’re in the day-to-day trenches of caregiving, it may not seem very rewarding. But looking back someday, you will probably think that caregiving was one of the most gratifying times of your life.