Anger and Resentment as a Caregiver - Have You been "Volunteered" to care for an Elderly Parent?

Have you been “volunteered” to care for your elderly parent?

Dealing with elderly parents or relatives is not easy on family members, and most especially when one of those family members happens to be "volunteered" by default to provide elder care based on convenience, career choices, order of birth, or relationship to parents.

Unfortunately, anger and resentment often come hand in hand with such situations, in which one family member seems to be singled out for the duty of caring for an elderly parent or parents. In many cases, such choices are made because the individual may be a stay-at-home mom, a home-based business person, or someone who simply lives closest to the ailing or elderly relative.

Dealing With Anger and Resentment

It's one thing to express concern and offer to help with the care of an aging relative, but quite another to be designated as the family caretaker without any prior discussion or thought to your specific feelings regarding caring for an elderly parent.

 Many grown children find it extremely difficult to say no in such situations, but it's important to realize that as a caregiver, your life, as well as that of your family, may literally change forever.

It's easy to feel this way in such situations, especially when other family members blithely continue their daily activities, jobs, careers and entertainment while you are the one left to stay home, take care of mom or dad, or literally move them into your home so you can ensure their care and safety.

Are You Completely Stressed Out?

What issues are difficult for you when caring for Mom and Dad? Click here to read what others are saying and help with answers or share your experience.

These feelings have a way of brewing and festering, especially when other family members don't seem to realize the sacrifices you're making, the financial burdens or the everyday stress and burden of providing 24-hour care for an elderly parent.

Avoiding the guilt-anger-resentment cycle is extremely important not only for the safety of the elderly parent, but for the mental well-being and health of caregivers and their immediate families. Many caregivers feel not only resentment toward other family members for "putting them into the situation", but for their parents for relying on them for their care. This can lead to immense stress and guilt, which further feeds the vicious cycle.

Healthy Care Giving

One of the first things the caregiver needs to remember is that in most scenarios, elderly parents do not want to rely on children or other family members for their care and safety. Many feel depressed, embarrassed, and guilty for the burden they place on others, and angry words, feelings or attitudes lead to hurt feelings for all involved.

Caregivers as well as elderly parents need to learn how to defuse resentment and anger before it gets out of control. Spouses, friends and family members who provide support and encouragement are especially welcome and needed at this time. Experts suggest that individuals who find themselves providing the primary care for elderly parents not waste inordinate amounts of time wishing that circumstances were different. Instead, try to enlist the help of other family members to take at least some of the burden off their shoulders. Discuss the situation with your spouse, siblings, or other family members and suggest ways that they may be able to offer help.

Caregiver Anger and Resentment Woman with Hands on Face

Anger can lead to words or actions that can never be taken back. When you become angry by a parent's behavior or refusal to cooperate, or a spouse's or children's disgruntled complaints that you're never available, try to avoid responding immediately. Explosions of anger can make matters worse, but on the other hand, if not expressed, can and do cause immense strain on the caregiver.

When dealing with this, try to find ways to respond to it differently. Take notes or write in a diary regarding your day-to-day feelings and emotions as well as responsibilities so that you can determine exactly what may be upsetting you the most. Take some time for yourself to 'regroup' every day, even if it's for only five or ten minutes.

Communication is Key

Communication is essential to avoid anger and resentment that grows out of all proportion and control. Call a family meeting. Talk to other family members or friends in order to determine a beneficial outcome for both yourself and your elderly parent. If you need help or support, ask for it.

If extended family members are unwilling to listen to your requests, visit your local senior services office or contact the public health department or social services department in your community for suggestions and resources for help.

The bottom line is not to keep anger and resentment bottled up, but to express your feelings so that you, your family and your elderly parents receive and benefit from the best of care in such scenarios.

Caregiver Anger back to Elderly Parents Anger and Resentment

Do you resent being the "chosen one" caregiver to your elderly parent?

Are you angry that your siblings do not contribute as much as they should? Mom and Dad expecting too much?

Read below what others are saying and make a comment on their subject or create your own to get advice from other readers in the group!

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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No one but me 
Yeah, and what if there is simple no one else to help-no other family, friends, Not all of us have the financial means to hire help.. It sucks.... …

Why me? Again? 
I cared full time for my very elderly father, who refused to go into aged care. I had to give up work and lost years of my life until finally loss of mobility …

Frustrated and Guilty 
When I was 12 my Mom got remarried and by the time I was 17 she kicked me out of the house. When I was 30 my Mom's husband died and she was not financially …

Standing my Ground 
91-year old only child mother is in skilled nursing facility due to dementia and inability to walk alone. Second time in 2 years. Three hospitalizations …

Alone in Az 
My siblings pretend to have no money to help ensure our parents can stay in a nice apartment with assistance. The siblings go on vacations, several per …

A Balance Between Kindness and Resentment 
I live in the same city as my 86-year old mother. She has has 2 catastrophic health-issues over the last 2 years. Last time, I fell into the role of …

SIck and Tired of Being The Parent Instead of The Child 
My mom is now completely bed ridden and invalid and it's getting harder to deal with by the day.I am sick and tired of her bothering me every five ****ing …

Only Child with no Help 
Time for me and my husband to fulfill our retirement dreams and sell our house and buy a huge RV. But no, I have my mom now, who is 89 and is slowly slipping …

Have Become Bitter 
I have been a sole carer of my parents in their 80's coming up to 4 years. Little by little my life has slipped away because both my parents have varying …

Stuck 
I'm a 64 year old single male. After working 35 years, I retired 3 years ago. Unfortunately, my 93 year old mother died 2 months prior to my retirement …

Communication Breakdown 
My parents, who are in their 60's always insisted that they were in good health and there was simply nothing to worry about. (Never mind that planning …

Primary care giver 
I am the primary caregiver for a 91 year old lady, whose sons live out of state... She is sweet, but her dementia is increasing and she becomes very …

Adopted Daughter Caring for Elderly Parents 
I was adopted as an adult so I could be a legal caregiver. My new parents are 79 and 76, while my husband in 69. My parents are in poor health and …

Headed toward the Wall 
I'm the oldest daughter, widowed at 45. So I became the obvious and willing choice to care for aging parents. Dad was diagnosed with cancer seven …

Youngest Child becomes Caregiver by Default 
My mother is 101 years old but still lives by herself in her own home. Over time it has fallen to me to help with her household chores due to her decreasing …

Mother Expresses Silent Anger and Resentment Towards Me! 
I am not angry or resentful about caring for my mother. However, Mother seems angry and resentful that I am the one caring for her. Both of my siblings …

Three Lazy Siblings 
I have three lazy siblings who do not contribute to the care of either parent who are divorced. I make daily calls to my dad who is not in good health, …

She's a Narcissist!  
Well, my mom has always been a narcissist, needy, dependent, ungrateful, addicted, hypocrite, ready for this- ultra religious person! Exactly. Practice …

Dutiful Daughter 
I have been my mothers only caregiver since my dad passed away 7 years ago. At 67, she had never driven or done anything by herself....did not even have …

Sandwiched 
My brother lives in El Paso, Texas and my sister lives near Washington DC. Both a long way off. They come to visit once a year, if I'm lucky. My brother …

I'm Only One Person 
I knew when I was 7 years old that one day, I would care for my mother. I watched my mother care for her mother and I knew someday it would be me. …

Angry, Depressed, and Stuck 
My mom became very ill from her diabetes in the later part of 2011 and almost died. The doctor's were able to save her with emergency dialysis and she …

Please Tell me What to Do. 
My mom was in a nice retirement home and sis and I would take her out twice or 3 times a week, we would go to lunch or go shopping I would always drive …

Caregiver of Elderly Mother with Sibling 
My sibling and I take care of my Mom. At first it was no big deal, with the help of my sibling it was just one night a week. However, as time has gone …

Click here to write your own.

Mother in Law is Being Really Difficult 
She moved to the west coast so that we could take care of her. She is 87. She has rapidly had her dementia go down hill and she is escalating and accusing …

Why am I the Chosen One? 
I LOVE my folks to death. But I am getting resentful. I am a nurse. Ten years ago we put an addition onto our house for my folks. Two of my siblings …

I got Myself into This 
I am 50 years old, lost my job 6 months ago and had nowhere to go. I lived w/my kids while I tried to get on my feet. Mom was dads caregiver at the time. …

Caring for my Alzheimer's Mother no help from Brother or Sister 
I've been caring for my mother for 5 years in my home. She has been in hospice for a year and declining but lingering on. It's extremely difficult for …

I HAVE NOOOOO HELP !!!! 
I am NOW an only child as my only sibling and my dad took their own lives, not to mention, I have no other family or friends to help me. My mom is approximately …

Angry Mom 
My mother is 79 years old and my father is 82. They live in a senior apartment complex in Southern California. They sold their home in New Jersey and followed …

I don't Like Who I've Become.  
I’m 50 years old. After years of struggles, I was finally at a place where I was happy. My oldest son is in the Army, my other son is a fire fighter and …

Depression is Labeled as Lazy and Immature 
I was a caregiver for my eldest sister who has Lyme disease. She hates me now for a monetary dispute after I paid for her wedding. My dad divorced my …

Wish my Dad were Dead! Not rated yet
My sister passed away unexpectedly and she was my parents' caregiver. I don't work and live close enough to now be the caregiver. My Mother is sweet but …

Primary Care Taker of 90 Year Old Mother Not rated yet
What do you do when your family members say remember we are to honor mom but don't listen to what dealing with a 90 year old mother 24-7 is really like. …

Feeling Resentful in a Challenging Situation Not rated yet
My dad is in his early 80's and has many health issues including in-stage renal failure for which he receives dialysis 3 days per week. My dad has been …

Unsure How to Help My Family Not rated yet
My sister has been disabled and in a wheelchair for 39 years with Multiple Sclerosis. Her husband has been her main carer with some outside support for …

Silly Sister  Not rated yet
I may not have the right to complain and always feel as if I am in the wrong. I am so tired. I can't stop feeling the need to oversee and ensure that my …

Not My Problem Not rated yet
I have siblings who refuse to have anything to do with our father. Only one keeps in contact with me and she never ask how dad is doing or gives me support …

Mother in Law Moved in Aaagggh Not rated yet
My mother in law moved in with us a year ago when her lovely, outgoing husband died. She couldn't live alone so we've bought a bigger home to accommodate …

Yikes! Not rated yet
Mom and Dad live next door, Dad is 77 and Mom is 76. Dad has COPD and a history of small intestine blockages with surgeries, Three to date. The last …

Caregiver to Grandmother Not rated yet
I am in my 20's and living with my aunt and grandmother. My grandmother had been taking care of me since I was an infant (parents were both working) and …

Monster in Law Not rated yet
My mother in law has been a thorn in my side ever since I married her son five years ago...she has threatened suicide, caused scenes at our home, complains …

No Choice Not rated yet
My parents live in the same city as me and my sibling is two hours away. He and his family visited our parents maybe four or five times a year for a weekend …

Caregiver Not rated yet
My mother is angry depressed anxious and in pain most of the time. I try to provide her with a quality of life however she refuses to go to doctors appointments …

Daughter Of Mother who is Caregiver for Companion Not rated yet
My mother has been living with her companion for 22 years about 4 years ago he started not moving around much and we have noticed that he doesn't remember …

Really? Not rated yet
A couple weeks back I worked four days straight at the call center for a local insurance company. Even though it's only a part time job, it's just enough …

Why Am I So Angry? Not rated yet
My sister, who is an alcoholic and prescription drug addict, was diagnosed with terminal cancer six months ago. None of her children would help with her …

I am Angry  Not rated yet
My elder sister does only visit my mother when she's got the time, my daughter (27 and me 54)! She ha s a life we don't! From morning to evening we …

I'm Done Not rated yet
I moved back with my father 15 years ago while switching houses and circumstances had it where I am now stuck being his caregiver. My sister has her own …

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Sharon Not rated yet
My mother had 2 strokes 2 years ago. We lost my sister that tried to help me with Mom to cancer in June. My mother is able to live at home by herself …

Feeling Trapped Not rated yet
I am primary caregiver of my 85 year old mother. I have two sisters and one brother. My younger sister lives with my mom, but goes to school in daytime …

Siblings Live Far Away and I am the Only One Not rated yet
Out of 6 siblings I am the only one who lives in the same town as my elderly father. The rest live between 1500 to 2000 miles away, so no weekend help …

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Eldercare for

Aging Parents

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