Building effective family relationships as a carer
As carers we can have some of the most complex, beautiful, heartbreaking, heartwarming, frustrating, rewarding, infuriating and soul affirming experiences with our families.
We can have some very unique, beautiful and close relationships with our cared-for person and our wider family. A closeness, understanding and depth of relationship with our cared-for, that others just wouldn’t experience.
We can equally experience the polar opposite. Relationships can be complicated and exist within a pressure cooker. Meaning that complications, niggles or difficulties can easily be magnified. We can see the breakdown of extended family relationships, as different members ‘step up’ or ‘step away’, or disagreements over care arise. And the inability to ‘take a break’ or ‘step away’ adds extra stress.
Add to that, a pandemic with isolation and no outside support, and we can see some incredibly challenging relationships and situations.
“Families get complicated”
Sid, Ice Age
And so we wanted to let you know that however we’re feeling, we’re not on our own. We often see the most precious family moments with our cared-for and the most frustrating, shared by carers in our Facebook community.
What we do see is that everything changes. Sometimes not as fast as we would like. But, things do change. Yesterday’s frustrations may turn into ‘a funny story’ or get replaced by a tender moment the next day. Holding onto this knowledge can help get us through those tougher moments.
Support for family relationships
Ultimately, if we're fortunate enough to have a family, and one we can get along with, then it can be valuable to know how to manage that relationship to everyone's benefit.
To support us in our family relationships - whatever they may look like - we have pulled together our library of family and relationship support:
Managing the feeling that we’re never doing enough.
This took on a whole new meaning during the pandemic. But many of us care from a distance (regardless of a pandemic), and it’s vital we still acknowledge the impact this can have.
The waves of emotion we experience in our relationships with our cared-for, and how we can support ourselves.
Building a supportive family team around our caring role.
Tips from Kyro, our co-founder to manage our relationship and support ourselves. Kyro has been a carer to his Mum since he was a child.
Advice from Suzanne (our co-founder) and our community on how to get started with our support network - which may include family members.
Carers in our community share their wisdom on managing relationships.
If we feel like we’re being judged by family members, then this blog may help us to understand a bit more about judgement and how we can help ourselves to feel better.
Simply stuck in a rut? This uplifting blog has plenty of suggestions to get the conversation going again.
And if you do have a particular relationship challenge right now, then you might like to book a call with our Carer support team. Who offer a safe space to offload and organise your thoughts. Our team are all carers themselves and offer a non-judgemental ear. Calls are free and available seven days per week.