A Caregiver’s Online Guide: Learning to love your loved one (even during those times when you don’t like them very much)

It’s not one long love-fest when you’re a caregiver. You can’t expect that you will be showered with thanks and praise on a daily basis.

Let’s face it, it’s hard to hold onto that warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing that you’re doing the right thing when it seems (sometimes) as if your loved one is doing everything wrong (and sometimes you get the suspicion they’re doing it on purpose).

We, as caregivers have committed ourselves to the selfless act of caring for a loved one who may or may not even know who we are sometimes or have the ability to know that they should be grateful for all that we do.

And at the same time we have to acknowledge that we are still fully formed, feeling people who (like it or not) have a response to the “who, what, when and why” of our daily lives and that emotional response can be at odds with what we’re trying to do for our loved one.

Most days you’ll be taken for granted and some will be filled with confrontation, frustration and anger.

While other times your loved one will be constantly underfoot and smother you with so much love that you think you’ll suffocate from all the attention and wish there was a place to hide.

And inevitably there will come a time when, as a caregiver, you have to ask; what do I do if I don’t like the loved one I’m caring for?

Speaking for myself, I will admit there are days when Miss Cathy drives me absolutely crazy and others still when I simply don’t like her.

That’s not to say I don’t love her, I do, but we all know we can feel more than one thing at a time for a loved one.

Remember, ‘feelings aren’t facts’ so there’s no need to beat yourselves up over any negative emotions you may feel at any given time or place during your tenure as a caregiver.

Since we’ve all been charged (by choice or circumstance) with our loved ones care we can’t just walk away when we’re angry or frustrated so we need tools to help in those moments when we’re at our wits end.

I’ve complied a list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ that I will post and that I’ve found to be very helpful when “like” seems to be the hardest word to paraphrase an Elton John lyric.

I hope that you like them and they can help you to ‘like’ your loved one.


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