It doesn’t help you when you hear that you are not alone in finding it frustrating looking after your elderly parents.
It doesn’t help you when you tell yourself your parents looked after you when you were little, so it’s fair that it’s now your turn to look after them.
You just find that looking after your elderly parents is frustrating, and you feel lonely – incredibly lonely.
You feel guilty that you feel frustrated. You feel frustrated that you feel lonely.
You don’t have a life of your own. You hardly ever get out. You hardly ever see other people. You just see your elderly parents and you just look after your parents, and take care of their every need.
You ask yourself: “Will I only be able to move on with my life when my parents have passed away?” – and then you feel awful. You don’t want your parents to die just yet, but you do feel like you need something to look forward to – every few days, and not only as far off as when your parents are no longer with you.
Feeling frustrated and lonely may lead to depression, which in turn may make you think unclearly. You want to find a way out of your predicament while still being there for your parents.
Having something to look forward to every few days or once a week – and engaging in that activity – may even help you feel more energized and happy about looking after your elderly parents the rest of the time.
Your parents may be elderly or unwell, but they’re still human, and are your family. Your parents seeing you miserable may make them feel depressed too, or that they are a burden to you. You love them and don’t want them to feel like they are a burden. You’re supposed to be looking after them so you shouldn’t want them to feel miserable too.
If you take care of some of your own needs, you may be happier looking after your parents, and, in turn, your parents may feel happier too.
Perhaps you need to take some time, while your parents are sleeping, to work out what you can do about your frustrating situation. Grab a notepad and pen or pencil, and jot down some ideas. Research a little on the Internet, or buy a book online. If you have only online friends because you don’t get out much and spend a lot of time writing and being active on online writing sites, you can still ask your online friends for advice and tips about how to cope with loneliness and frustration while looking after your elderly parents.
Visit websites and forums. Learn more about your own local area and any support groups or clubs, and take note of anything that may help you feel less frustrated and lonely.
You never know – just doing research for your notes and ideas may result in you making some excellent new friends along the way. Even if it’s only you living with and looking after your elderly parents, you don’t have to feel frustrated, lonely or all alone. You have friends out there – you just haven’t met them yet.
© Copyright Teresa Schultz 2014