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Other People's Opinions of You as a Dementia Caregiver

Uncategorized Jun 16, 2019

Hi there Careblazer,

Welcome back. Today I want to talk about other people’s opinions on your caregiving situation. If you would like to watch my video on this topic please click here. Let me know if any of this sounds familiar.

You are thinking of placing your LOWD and people tell you that you shouldn’t do it. He doesn’t seem that bad. He won’t get good care. You can keep doing it.

People who talk to your loved one tell you they don’t seem all that bad and start to look at you as if you are exaggerating everything. She seemed fine when I talked to her on the phone.

People tell you what you should be doing differently.

To make things worse, many times the people who are telling you these things are actually family members or friends and that is hurtful. It leads to feeling angry, guilty, and a whole bunch of other negative emotions.

You may even feel judged like people think you are selfish and not doing a good job caring for loved one. They’re questioning your decisions. This stuff is hurtful. It can make you second-guess yourself and your decisions. And it usually just makes you feel bad.

It’s easy to get caught in the trap of trying to convince someone of why you made your decisions. Trying to explain why your loved one who can have a decent conversation with someone is actually really challenging to care for when they are up wandering in the middle of the night.

Here’s the thing. I want you to repeat this to yourself. “What other people think of me is none of my business.” If you go around trying to do what other people want you to do, or trying to please other people, you are in for a miserable life. It is a losing battle.

Here’s the 4 questions to ask yourself if you find yourself struggling with other people’s opinions.

#1- What would I tell a friend in this situation.

#2- Does this person contribute, help, and support me in any meaningful way in this situation? If not, than their opinion is not worth spending time/energy worrying about.

#3- Has this person spent time with your loved one to the extent that they would have a good familiarity with your loved one’s abilities? At minimum one full day (morning and night). If not, than their opinion is not worth spending time/energy worrying about.

#4-Are you living your life and caring for your loved one to please others and meet others' expectations OR are you living your life and caring for your loved one because you want to do what is best for you and your loved one? Not doing what’s best for Aunt Beth or brother Joe. You are doing what is best for you and your loved one.

Here’s the deal. There will ALWAYS be people out there to disagree, question, or just be negative. That’s just a fact.

I think one of the hardest things about being a dementia caregiver is simply being confident and kind to yourself when you are doing the right thing for your loved one, even if you loved doesn’t see it that way and even when others don’t see it that way.

As Brene Brown researcher has stated, “if you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, then i’m not interested in your feedback.” And I think that is very important point.

It’s important that if someone who has supported you, has been involved in your loved one’s care, and does seem to be coming from a place of concern has an opinion we be open to hearing them out because no one knows all. We do the best we can but sometimes we miss things or sometimes we are so stressed about our situation or we are so close to the situation, we don’t exactly get to see the bigger picture. In these situations, it’s important to keep an open mind and hear considerations. BUT you’ve got to identify those who are just giving an opinion based on limited information and not putting in any of the time, energy, or care you are to even have a full informed decision.

I hope that helps you Careblazer. Don’t let people who aren’t as involved as you lead you to question yourself.

If you’ve been in or are currently in this situation, what has helped you through those difficult moments? I’d love to know, leave a comment below.

Also, if you are interested in my Careblazer booster series- a mini course designed to help you get the thinking, confidence,and strength you need to continue on this Careblazer path, be sure to check out my new mini course by clicking here.

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