Can You Be a Caregiver for Someone Who Didn’t Take Good Care of You?

Not every caregiving situation is made up of sugar and happy memories. Some situations arise out of necessity and might mean that you’re taking care of someone who didn’t always take the best care of you when you needed them. That complicates things, but it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.

Can You Separate the Person from Her Actions?

Caregiver Kentwood MI:Can You Be a Caregiver for Someone Who Didn’t Take Good Care of You?

Caregiver Kentwood MI:Can You Be a Caregiver for Someone Who Didn’t Take Good Care of You?

Sit down and take an objective look at the situation. If you can separate what happened in the past from the person you’re caring from now, you’re more ahead of the game than you think. For some caregivers, the fact that their senior is dealing with something like dementia that changes their personality and their memories can almost be a good thing. It allows you to approach someone you’ve had a difficult relationship with in a completely different way. But that’s not always possible.

Find a Way to Explore Your Feelings
You’re going to have feelings about this. You’re human and that means your emotions don’t just go away because they’re not convenient. You need to have a plan for how you’re going to explore your feelings. Some caregivers do this via therapy while others find that solitary exploration, like through journaling, is most helpful. It’s about what works for you, even if that’s a combination of different tactics.

Join a Support Group
You might feel as if you’re the only family caregiver who is dealing with this situation, but you would be surprised. Joining a caregiver support group allows you to meet and to interact with other caregivers who are dealing with experience that might be shockingly similar to your own. You can find all sorts of techniques and ideas that help you to deal with your own situation.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Above all, don’t beat yourself up for feeling the way that you do. You’re not going to always feel up to being the best caregiver that you can be, especially if your elderly family member is reverting to old habits herself. You’re doing the best that you can with a situation that isn’t comfortable for you and that’s amazing on its own.

You’re not a bad caregiver if you’re still hung up on things that happened in the past. What might make you a bad caregiver is not exploring how those old feelings are influencing your actions right now. Your senior needs your help and it’s up to you to provide that help in the best way that you possibly can, even if that means handing over her care to someone else.


If you or someone you know needs help with a Caregiver in Kentwood, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable homecare services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.

About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.