Criticism is really difficult to handle for a lot of people, but when you’re a caregiver, criticism can feel intensely personal. You might feel as if you’re being attacked or that someone is telling you that you aren’t being a good caregiver at all. Evaluating that criticism can help you to find the useful bits so you can put them to use.
Take a Moment to Breathe First
Even the most gentle criticisms can hurt. Your immediate reaction might be to feel hurt or embarrassed because someone is criticizing how you’re doing something for your elderly family member. That’s why your first reaction needs to be to take a deep breath and mentally step back from the comment. This is going to help you to be objective about what has been said.
Determine if There’s a Reason for the Criticism
People criticize others for a lot of different reasons. Most often in the case of family members, they’re criticizing because they want what is best for your elderly family member and for you. They may seem to have other motives, however, especially if this is someone with whom you’ve usually been at odds. It’s also possible that family members are offering criticism because they feel left out of caregiving decisions. There might be a way to work around that.
Does the Criticism Make Sense?
The next step in evaluating the criticism is to determine whether there is a nugget of gold buried within. Sometimes the delivery of the message can seem to get in the way of the true meaning. Do your best to remove any of the inflammatory portions of the criticism and take it down to bare bones. If someone else mentioned this to you in a different way, does the criticism make sense?
Don’t Make the Situation Worse
Above all, the last thing you want to do is to make the situation worse and it’s easy to do that. If you need to take some time to really pick apart the criticism, take that time. Respond to the person in the moment with a smile and let them know you appreciate their concern. If they press, let them know you want to take the time to reflect on what they’ve said. Fighting back, especially if you’ve gotten your feelings hurt, is not the right response.
How you handle the criticism that you receive as a caregiver is what is truly important. If you’re blowing up or constantly disregarding even valuable criticism, that’s going to ultimately be a problem for you. You need the perspective of other people now and again.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Caregiver Services in Somerset County NJ, please talk to the caring staff at Generations Home Health Care today. Providing Home Care in Somerset, Essex, Union, Morris and Hunterdon Counties. Call us today at (908) 290-0691 or (973) 241-4534.
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