Understanding Caregiver Anger

Caregivers have challenging jobs. This includes professional caregivers who are paid to assist others. And it includes those family members who are caregivers for their loved ones. The fact is that a majority of caregivers are individuals who assist family members with activities of daily living for no compensation. Most families who provide caregiving assistance are spouses and adult children. Because of the challenges a caregiver faces, emotions can run the gambit. This includes instances in which caregivers become angry.

In this article, we address the subject of caregiver anger. Our hope is that we will provide caregivers with some perspective regarding anger.

Determine the Real Root of Your Anger

When understanding a caregiver’s anger, it is crucial that a caregiver understand the root of that anger. When it comes to anger experienced by a caregiver, there are three commonplace sources of that anger:

  • Anger with the caregiving recipient
  • Anger with other family members
  • Anger with yourself

Angry With Caregiving Recipient

Caregiving can prove to be a frustrating experience. Even the kindest and most carefree individuals can experience frustration and anger associated with assisting a loved one. Therefore, a commonplace root of this type of emotion is the caregiver’s anger toward the recipient of this assistance.

Angry With Other Family Members

Another common underlying cause of caregiver anger is other family members. Often, one family member provides the lion’s share of care for a loved one. The other family members provide little to no help. This imbalance can lead to resentment and anger. Unfortunately, there are instances in which a caregiver takes out anger with a genesis among other family members on the care recipient.

Angry With Yourself

Finally, caregiving can be emotionally taxing. There are instances in which the source of caregiver anger is the caregiver himself or herself. This underscores the need for a caregiver to engage in regular self-care. Regular self-care ensures that a caregiver can better maintain balance in his or her life. A sense of balance helps lower the prospect of anger arising out of a caregiving situation,

Tips to Cope With Caregiver Anger

There are several important tips to bear in mind that can be effective in helping you deal with and address caregiver anger:

  • Talk it out with someone else
  • Enhance coping skills
  • Understand the source of anger
  • Consider your attitude
  • Ask for help if you need it
  • Take time for yourself
  • Build a support team
  • Work with a counselor
  • Connect with fellow caregivers
  • Keep a journal
  • Accept your limitations

Talk It Out With Someone Else

If you fear you are about to experience anger, or if you experience anger with some regularity as a caregiver, you are wise to “talk it out” with someone else. If you can express your feelings and emotions associated with caregiving to someone else, you likely will be able to reduce the odds of experiencing anger.

Enhance Coping Skills

As a caregiver, you must develop a unique skill set to assist another person properly. One of the skills that you need to work on or enhance as you become a caregiver is coping. You need to fine-tune your ability to cope with the myriad challenges that you will face as a caregiver.

Understand the Source of Anger

A moment ago, we detailed the need to understand and identify the source of your anger. Accomplishing this objective is so important that we mention it again in this article. You can only really address anger if you know where it comes from.

Consider Your Attitude

On a related note, you must also consider your attitude when understanding and addressing caregiver anger. You do need to have the proper disposition and attitude when it comes to caregiving. You need to be realistic about what you are doing and how it can be done.

Ask For Help if You Need It

Caregiving can seem like a lonely endeavor. Therefore, if you feel overwhelmed by caregiving, you should not be afraid to ask for help. If you cannot garner reliable assistance from your fellow family members, consider engaging the services of a homecare aide.

Take Time for Yourself

We discussed self-care a moment ago. It bears stressing again that one of the important tactics you can employ to avoid or address caregiver anger is to engage in a regular self-care regimen.

Build a Support Team

A moment ago, we suggested that you ask for help and talk it out when it comes to the challenges you are facing as a caregiver. On a related note, you should build a personal support team to provide you with support and encouragement as you provide caregiving assistance to another person.

Work With a Counselor

If anger becomes a persistent problem as you provide assistance to another person, consider meeting with a counselor or therapist. Getting this type of professional assistance can be invaluable in helping you to pinpoint where the anger comes from and how you can best deal with it on a consistent basis.

Connect With Fellow Caregivers

If you want to address caregiver anger, consider connecting with other caregivers. For example, in many communities, there are caregiver support groups that might be of assistance to you. Time and again, caregivers extoll the benefits of connecting with fellow caregivers or even joining a caregiving support group.

Keep a Journal

Many therapists and counselors who work with caregivers recommend keeping a journal. By journaling, you put yourself in a better position to understand why you feel like you, including why you become angry from time to time.

Accept Your Limitations

Finally, as a caregiver, you need to accept your limitations. You are not invincible. There are limitations on what a person can and cannot reasonably do as a caregiver. By recognizing these limitations, you lower the risk that you will experience caregiver anger.