How To Get Rid of Annoying Relatives – The Caring Generation®
The Caring Generation® – Episode 75 March 3, 2021. On this program, How to Get Rid of Annoying Relatives, caregiving expert Pamela D Wilson shares the stresses experienced by family caregivers who have taken in-laws and other relatives into their homes. An interview with Dr. Kevin Seybold shares research about the role of religion in spirituality in mental and physical health.
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How to Get Rid of Annoying Relatives
0:00:04.0 Announcer: Caregiving can sometimes feel like an impossible struggle. Caregivers may be torn between taking care of loved ones and trying to maintain balance in life. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. The Caring Generation, with host Pamela D Wilson is here to focus on the conversation of caring. You’re not alone. In fact, you’re in exactly the right place to share stories and learn tips and resources to help you and your loved ones. So now, please welcome the host of The Caring Generation, Pamela D Wilson.
0:00:38:0 Pamela D Wilson: This is Pamela D Wilson, caregiving expert, speaker, elder care consultant, and guardian of The Caring Generation. The Caring Generation focuses on the conversation of caring, giving us permission to talk about aging, the challenges of caregiving, and everything in between. It seems that when the time comes when we need care, or we become a caregiver, our world is turned upside down. There is little dignity, little clarity, and certainly no stability. Let’s be honest, most of us prefer a life without change. It’s no surprise that needing care or becoming a caregiver changes everything.
0:1:15:78 Pamela D Wilson: The Caring Generation is here to guide you along the journey to let you know that you are not alone. You’re in exactly the right place to share stories learn tips and resources to help you and your loved ones plan for what’s ahead. We’re here to create The Caring Generation. Please invite your loved ones, family, and friends to listen to the show each week. On this show, we’re talking about the uncomfortable topic of how to get rid of annoying relatives and annoying family members.
0:1:46:09 Pamela D Wilson: This getting rid of could be ridding ourselves mentally of the frustrations experienced in dealing with relatives or family members. This desire to clear out could also mean that we invited parents, in-laws, or other family members to live with us—temporarily or permanently—and now regret that decision and want them to move out. Are you living with a family members who have any of these behaviors? When they are angry, do they give you the silent treatment?
0:02:20:60 Pamela D Wilson: What about yelling, constant criticism or blaming, a desire to control situations, threatening or intimidating behavior, a lack of empathy, or a person who is overly dependent on you when he or she can do things for themselves? How many of you feel guilty about how you feel? Yet you know that this situation is unsustainable? How many of you turn to religion or spirituality for answers or hope?
0:02:52:41 Pamela D Wilson: During this show, I will share a discussion with Dr. Kevin Seybold about his article The Role of Religion and Spirituality in Mental and Physical Health to answer whether religious beliefs or spirituality affect our health and mental well-being. What do you think? For many people, a strong belief in God or participation in religious or spiritual practices are the key to mental well-being and stability. How many of us experience peaks and valleys in our lives or extremes that catch us off guard or take us off track?
0:03:32:74 Pamela D Wilson: Then to rebalance, we make focused efforts to get back on track? An example of this that most of us can relate to is turning into a couch potato in the fall. In the spring, we put on clothes and we are shocked that they no longer fit—and we think, “Oh my gosh—how did this happen to me?” (laugh) One of the answers for how to get rid of annoying relatives is to look back at the past and ask ourselves what our intentions were in inviting parents, in-laws, brothers, sisters, or cousins into our homes? When we made these agreements, were there any discussions about time frames and circumstances under which this might work or not work?
0:04:21:04 Pamela D Wilson: Was a parent ill with the expectation that health would improve? Did a family member lose a job and need temporary help? I know that during COVID, many families moved in together for a variety of reasons, job losses, sick parents, parents not wanting to move into assisted living communities. These situations may last for some time. However, that doesn’t mean that annoying family members won’t get on our nerves and vice versa. If you didn’t have any boundary setting or time limiting guidelines now may be the time to begin these conversations.
0:05:02:24 Pamela D Wilson: Up first for how to get rid of annoying relatives is to begin with managing responses to the situation. While we may be boiling over off like a volcano on the inside, keeping our cool will help the discussions avoid going off track. To put this in perspective, think of larger situations like COVID, national disasters, major changes at work. When unpleasant or stressful situations happen, the leader sets the tone for the conversation. If annoying family members are living in your home—you are the leader.
0:05:42:96 Pamela D Wilson: For better or worse, you also have a responsibility to create a plan for how to get rid of annoying relatives. You invited them, or they invited themselves, and you said yes. That means that unless you held discussions upfront about boundaries and timing of a move-out, you bear part of the responsibility for their emancipation or independence. In a perfect world, you talk about the timing of a move-out, come up with definitive steps for your parents, in-laws, or other annoying family members. They follow-through, and they’re gone.
0:06:25:83 Pamela D Wilson: I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you have a comfortable home and living there is the easy life—your annoying family members may not help themselves to take any action to move out of your home. This lack of follow-through places more pressure on you and depends on the situation. If in-laws have their own home and temporarily come to live with you, returning may be easier than if you invited a brother or sister to live with you who lost a job and still doesn’t have a job. Meaning no income to pay for another place to live.
0:07:06:32 Pamela D Wilson: However, if other family exists, they may be able to wrangle another short term invitation. These complicating factors are why it’s essential to have a plan for how to get rid of annoying relatives the day they move into your home. Let’s talk more about managing our responses to pressure-filled situations with annoying family members. When we become angry at others, in any situation, if we can take a time out, look at why we are upset, and match this with the bigger picture, we may be able to cool down and regain perspectives.
0:07:54:90 Pamela D Wilson: Take out a piece of paper and ask yourself why am I feeling this way and name the feeling. Write down the words whatever they are. Intolerant, insulted, hurt, frustrated, angry, impatient—call it what it is. Have you ever felt treated unfairly or disrespected? These situations short circuit our brains. Sirens should be blaring—lights flashing. The moment these feelings arise—the ability of our brain to weigh both sides and make thoughtful decisions flies out the window. When we feel cheated, lied to, disrespected, the tendency is to run away or immediately say no.
0:09:00:00 Pamela D Wilson: How many times do we make snap decisions and react emotionally and then attempt to rationalize the decision we made using logic? Think about this for a moment and we will continue this conversation after the break. I’m Pamela D Wilson on the Caring Generation. I help family caregivers and organizations talk about caregiving to understand the decisions related to caring for elderly parents or loved ones, navigate the healthcare system, discuss financial and legal plans for care and apply all of this learning to our own lives, so we are not passing caregiving worries and responsibilities down to the next generation without giving this some thought and planning. Visit my website, PamelaDWilson.com, where you will find information about keynotes, webinars, online courses about elderly care, and all of The Caring Generation podcast episodes. Stay with me; I’ll be right back.
0:10:23:15 Pamela Wilson: This is Pamela D Wilson on The Caring Generation, the only program of its kind caring to make your life easier by tackling uncomfortable and intimidating discussions about aging, caregiving, and everything in between. If you’re seeking support to avoid unexpected caregiving issues, not sure what to do, maybe things aren’t working out as you expected— the A to Z of caregiving is in my online caregiver course called Stay at Home: Taking Care of Elderly Parents at Home and Beyond on my website at PamelaDWilson.com
0:10:59:84 Pamela D Wilson: Let’s return to the conversation of creating a plan for how to get rid of annoying relatives and how to manage when the brain goes haywire when we feel cheated, lied to, disrespected, and a host of other behaviors. When we realize that annoying family members push our buttons, this recognition may allow us to step back from a situation and ask ourselves a few questions. Is the thing or the behavior that our annoying family member did something real or imagined? Beyond being upsetting or feeling that time was wasted—is there a real impact today and in the future?
0:11:48:65 Pamela D Wilson: Might a relative have done or said something without thinking of the consequences? Is it possible to let the person know the impact of the behavior and how this affects your relationship—if this is a relationship you want to preserve? Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody has a bad day now and then. But what if this behavior is day in and day out ongoing? That is a different story. Let’s take the idea of how to get rid of annoying relatives back to ourselves.
0:12:22:69 Pamela D Wilson: Ask this question, do I have any of the behaviors that this person, my annoying family member, is displaying? Is it possible that we dislike this behavior because it is a behavior that we are struggling to overcome ourselves. There are times when a mirror image of our inner fears, criticisms, or weaknesses can turn back on ourselves and lower our self-esteem or make us feel angry or frustrated. Have you ever tried to get rid of something in your life that you viewed as negative, and the more you focused on this “negative thing,” the more of that “negative thing” you got in return?
0:13:06:06 Pamela D Wilson: It’s amazing how this happens. Instead of focusing on what we don’t want—how to get rid of annoying relatives, what if we, you focus on what we do want. Things like a quiet home, peaceful interactions with family, time with your children instead of caring for elderly parents, time with your spouse. The question is, how do we get from here to there? Start conversations with in-laws, parents, and others by saying, I want more of this in my life, and it’s difficult for me to move in that direction with you here.
0:13:46:92 Pamela D Wilson: Rather than spending time with my children, or focusing on my career, or doing whatever it is I want to do, I am spending a lot of mental and physical energy doing this caregiving thing. In a sense, you are benefitting from this assistance or help or services at the expense of my health, career, and so on. I invited you here so I accept that I created the situation or the expectation that this would be okay indefinitely. But it’s not. I’d like to get your thoughts on making a plan for you to move out of our home. I’m willing to help with you leading the plan.
0:14:30:72 Pamela D Wilson: This is a discussion that is so challenging to have. You may get that queasy feeling in your stomach or put off the conversation until you can no longer stand the situation. Making hints or not being direct won’t get you there. The kindest thing you can do to preserve a relationship is to figure out a plan for how to get rid of annoying relatives. Be direct – Mom or dad, I/we love you. But if we keep living together, I’m afraid this situation will permanently damage our relationship, and I would like to avoid that from happening.
0:15:13:53 Pamela D Wilson: Put yourself in the opposite situation. You are an adult child who moved back into the home of your parents. Your parents may not have set boundaries, and they are wondering when you will be moving out. They may be dropping hints and thinking of ways to get you – their child – to move out of their home. For everyone involved in family relationships, living independently is a personal responsibility. Even if you are a person who needs care from another person, the more that you can continue to do things for yourself and manage independently, the better your relationship will be.
0:15:55:21 Pamela D Wilson: Dependency can pose a lot of negative consequences. If you are emotionally dependent on someone, you may rely on another person to meet all of your needs. We all want to ask ourselves how are our behaviors are contributing to the life that we’re living. Do we continue to do things that don’t work out and make us unhappy? How much different would our lives be if we worked on becoming a better version of ourselves than trying to change others or outside circumstances?
0:16:31:35 Pamela D Wilson: I did a little research and found two quotes on this subject. The first is by Gandhi, “Everyone wants to be strong and self-sufficient, but few are willing to put in the work necessary to achieve worthy goals.” What do you think about that? And another quote by Barbara Kingsolver, “maybe life doesn’t get any better than this or any worse, and what we get is just what we’re willing to find; small wonders where they grow.” In all caring for aging parents situations or caring for annoying family members, there can be positive and amazing experiences along with those that can feel suffocating, distressing, and impossible.
0:17:22:40 Pamela D Wilson: It’s up to us individually to pull ourselves out of the depths of frustrations about how to get rid of annoying relatives and to continue to move forward. Caregivers are in this frustrating situation because of a desire to want to help others. This alone places you in the company of amazing people. Even though your intentions placed you in an uncomfortable situation—what can you learn from this? Many adult children who become caregivers accept responsibility to care for elderly parents. When a parent passes and caregiving ends, they don’t have any takeaways because they were so involved in trying to keep up day to day that they missed the opportunity to learn from the experience.
0:18:13:32 Pamela D Wilson: The experience placed on a shelf that doesn’t come up again until the adult children —now older—need help from their children. Let’s be nostalgic for a moment. Do you remember back to day one of being a caregiver? The surprise maybe fears about what happened to an elderly parent that resulted in your involvement. Then as the years passed, you may have felt tortured by this internal sense of giving up your life to be a caregiver. Your parent or parents continue to age and may be experiencing more health issues and need more care.
0:18:58:91 Pamela D. Wilson: But—you can’t continue at the level of help you’re providing. Enter guilt. Maybe you know what you should do, but you can’t bring yourself to do it. That thing is how to get rid of annoying relatives and move your parents out of your home. It’s okay to feel conflicted. I don’t know that we don’t experience inner turmoil and angst when we have decisions to make. If we didn’t feel this way, we wouldn’t be human. You probably have a lot of fears about taking in parents or in-laws, and now fears about moving them out of your home.
0:19:39:22 Pamela D Wilson: These feelings are normal just as the fears and doubts are normal. How many of you have children? If you could write a letter to your children today to tell them how to handle this situation for you when you are elderly, what advice would you give to your children? If you have a spouse or a partner and you could write a similar letter knowing that one day you might have dementia and not recognize your spouse or partner. Or that you may have health issues and thoughts of intimacy may be only a memory. How would you advise your spouse or partner to care for you and continue living his or her life?
0:20:26:02 Pamela D Wilson: We should discuss these issues throughout life. But we don’t because we never think we will find ourselves in a situation where we are asking ourselves – how to get rid of annoying relatives? Let’s shift gears and talk about the connection between religion, spirituality, mental health, and physical well-being. Up next my discussion with Dr. Kevin Seybold. If you are struggling to have caregiving conversations within your family, The Caring Generation and all of the podcasts are not limited by time zone or location—anyone, worldwide can listen.
0:21:06:83 Pamela D Wilson: The podcasts and the show transcripts are on my website at PamelaDWilson.com and all of your favorite podcast apps including Apple, Google, Spreaker, Podcast Addict, Pandora, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Spotify, I Heart Radio, Podchaser, Jio Saavn, Vurbl, and More. Add the podcast app for the Caring Generation show on the cellphone of elderly parents, in-laws, and other family members. I’m Pamela D Wilson on The Caring Generation. Stay with me. We’ll be right back.
0:22:14:64 Pamela D Wilson: This is Pamela D Wilson, caregiving expert, speaker, and elder care consultant on The Caring Generation, the only program of its kind caring to make your life easier by tackling uncomfortable and intimidating discussions about aging, caregiving, and everything in between. Share and visit my website PamelaDWilson.com with others you know. One in 4 people are caregivers looking for hope, help, and support and don’t know where to turn or who to trust. I want to share an interview from my archives with Dr. Kevin Seybold. In stressful and normal times many of us turn to religion or spirituality for comfort, peace of mind, and socialization.
0:23:00:54 Pamela D Wilson: Kevin Seybold is a professor of psychology at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania where he teaches courses in physiological psychology, learning and cognition, the psychology of religion, research methods, and science and religion. Most recently, he published a book, Questions in the Psychology of Religion. He has also published articles in Physiology & Behavior, the International Journal of Neuroscience, Biological Psychiatry, Current Directions in Psychological Science, the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, and Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, among other journals. Meet Dr. Kevin Seybold.
0:23:49:59 Pamela D Wilson: You know, we talk a great deal about caregiving which is very stressful, and the longer-term effects of stress and disease on the body. I want to start by talking about what your article refers to as pathological spirituality or religion. Which is kind of what I call the helpless side. Can you talk about that?
0:24:08:49 Dr. Kevin Seybold: Well certainly there are feelings such as discontent or anger with God or perhaps with the clergy or with a whole congregation and these, are sometimes called negative religious coping strategies. Questioning God’s love, feeling abandoned by God, for example, or seeing illness as a punishment. These are generally maladaptive and predictive of declines in a person’s health.
0:24:39:30 Pamela D Wilson: Belief in spirituality has positive effects, can you talk about what the research shows?
0:24:44:12 Dr. Kevin Seybold: Generally these are correlational studies, so researchers are looking at the relationship between, in this case, religiosity and various measures of mental or physical health. And in the area of mental health, positive associations are generally found between measures of religiosity and measures of well-being, marital satisfaction, optimism, self-esteem and general psychological functioning. So as scores on various measures of religiosity go up so to do scores on measures of psychological functioning well-being, etc. And then also some negative associations between religion and spirituality and drug and alcohol abuse, criminality, anxiety, loneliness.
0:25:33:31 Dr. Kevin Seybold: So as the scores on the religiosity go up these scores or incidents tend to decrease. So overall there seems to be a positive effect, of religion and spirituality on mental health and similar findings in the area of physical health as well. Again correlational studies that are suggestive of an overall helpful effect on religion on physical health. People who score high on these measures of religiosity tend to have lower rates of heart disease, myocardial infarctions, stroke, cancer mortality, and overall mortality. Also people who score high on these measures of religiosity tend to have lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, etc. These studies have been done on both males and females. People of all ages. A variety of religions, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims. From a number of regions, North America, Africa, Asia, and from various ethnic groups. So the overall effect seems to be positive. Not all studies would indicate that but overall that seems to be the trend.
0:26:42:37 Pamela D Wilson: Today we’ve been talking about the effects of social isolation. I think I’m having problems with that word today. How is it that religion and spirituality kind of support socialization and praying together and all of that and just that benefit?
0:26:56:26 Dr. Kevin Seybold: Well, the mechanism whereby these benefits might develop are, first, as you mentioned social support and social networks. Those high in religiousness typically have higher levels of social support. This might come through opportunities for fellowship within a religious community. Involvement in formal social programs like visiting shut-ins, providing meals to others. And some of the more interesting findings are that this kind of support, not only helps the person receiving the meal or the visit from someone else but actually seems to also provide a buffering effect on stress for the person giving the help. So it’s very interesting that giving the help as well as receiving it seems to be beneficial.
0:27:51:89 Pamela D Wilson Are there any effects on lifestyle that are positive?
0:27:55:19 Dr. Kevin Seybold: Well, religious commitment obviously can motivate a person to adopt some healthier behaviors. Some denominations have regulations, rules regarding smoking, drug use, certainly, and what have you. But also more religious individuals tend to lead healthier lives that would also include more likely to get mammograms, have cholesterol screenings, flu shots so those types of benefits also seem to accrue to a religious lifestyle.
0:28:31:66 Pamela D Wilson: So being proactive. So then are proactive and spiritual people—or people who believe in religion—do they tend to be more positive in general?
0:28:31:66 Dr. Kevin Seybold: Well, the research here is ambiguous, I guess I might say. There is some, certainly some studies that suggest that more religiously conservative people tend to be more optimistic and hopeful than more moderately religious ones. And then the more moderately religious tend to be more optimistic and helpful, or hopeful I should say. Than those who hold liberal religious beliefs. But the evidence is not terribly strong in this point. But Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania has sort of led the way in studying what he calls optimistic explanatory styles. An optimistic ex (excuse me) explanatory style would be a person who perceives negative events as being externally caused, situation-specific. And positive events as internally caused and typical.
0:29:31:73 Dr. Kevin Seybold: Whereas a person with a pessimistic explanatory style would see negative events as being internally caused and typical and positive events as externally caused than situation-specific. And Seligman’s work suggests that people with the optimistic explanatory style tend to be healthier, or less likely to have diseases in middle age. So certainly to the extent that a person who is religious understands events that might happen to them and explains them in a more optimistic way could benefit from that as far as their health is concerned years down the road.
0:30:14:96 Pamela D Wilson: A lot of health professionals don’t consider religion or spirituality when they work with patients. Do you know why that is and what the benefit of actually incorporating that into medical practice might be?
0:30:25:96 Dr. Kevin Seybold: Well I think it comes down to how they interpret this literature. The one view is that religiosity and spirituality is strong enough evidence to support a physician taking what might be called a religious history. Much like a physician might take a medical history. That’s to say they might consider religious factors in treatment even. The other view is that the evidence just isn’t strong enough to support that sort of involvement of the physician into the religious spiritual life of the patient.
0:31:00:32 Pamela D Wilson Well and it kind of sounds like participation in whether you’re religious or spirituality—or spiritual. It seems like it does have a positive effect on health and that people have a little more control over their life or feel that they do?
0:31:00:32 Dr. Kevin Seybold: That seems to be what the literature suggests and psychology and various disciplines that have investigated this, yes.
0:31:21:39 Pamela D Wilson: Dr. Seybold I thank you so much for joining us today.
0:31:24:15 Dr. Kevin Seybold: Thank you Pamela I appreciate the invitation.
0:31:27:19 Pamela D Wilson: You’re welcome. Spirituality has different meanings to everybody and it can definitely support good health. Two common descriptors of spirituality are the ability to treat others well and also practicing gratitude for life. Imagine that. By practicing these two activities regularly you can improve your health. If you enjoy our weekly program and the information and education offered I ask you to share it with others. Our program is not limited by time zone or location, new shows from The Caring Generation are available each week.
0:31:56:63 Pamela D Wilson: You can listen and read the show transcript on my website at PamelaDWilson.com or listen on your favorite podcast apps: Apple, Google, Spreaker, Podcast Addict, Pandora, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Spotify, I Heart Radio, Podchaser, Jio Saavn, Vurbl, and More. I’m Pamela D Wilson on The Caring Generation. If you are a caregiver or aging adult making decisions that relate to aspects of caregiving—help and support are on my website PamelaDWilson.com and in my online courses for elderly care Taking Care of Elderly Parents at Home and How to Get Guardianship of a Parent. Stay with me; I’ll be right back.
0:32:41:82 Pamela D Wilson: This is Pamela D Wilson. You’re with me on The Caring Generation, the only program of its kind bringing caregivers and aging adults worldwide together to talk about aging, caregiving, and everything in between. More information and support for caregivers, corporations, and groups are on my website at PamelaDWilson.com, where you’ll find information about keynote events, webinars, online courses, and more.
0:33:40:20 Pamela D Wilson: Let me know how I can help you, your group, or your organization by visiting the Contact Me page on my website and sending an email. Let’s return to talking about how to get rid of annoying relatives, which really may be more about looking at ourselves, our motives, behaviors, fears, and managing through the guilt of realizing that we can’t be the primary caregiver forever. We may need help. How many of you remember your parents telling you fairy tales when you were young?
0:34:15:0; Pamela D Wilson: A favorite that is time-tested is Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll with the pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a British author born in 1832. He was the eldest son with eight younger brothers and sisters. Here are a couple of quotes that I want to relate to caregiving situations. The first “when I used to read fairy tales I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now I am here in the middle of one.” How many of us say this about being a caregiver or aging? I never thought this would happen—my thinking how to get rid of annoying relatives
0:35:00:72 Pamela D Wilson: How many of us also never imagined we would bathe an elderly parent or do any of the other things we do? Do you ever wonder why parents don’t talk to their children about caregiving? Is it because they don’t want us to know that this might happen or because they hope they never need care. When my parents were alive—I never thought to ask the question. Even though my mother was the caregiver in the family. I have a personal story about the topic of how to get rid of annoying relatives.
0:35:35:66 Pamela D Wilson: My Aunt, my father’s sister, lived about three blocks away from my parent’s home. Aunt became ill and moved into our home so my mom could care for her while my Uncle worked. I was going to school at the time, so I don’t exactly remember exactly how long Auntie lived with us but what I do remember is that she mainly laid on the couch in the living room watching television, and my mother waited on her. I imagined this to be a comfortable situation for Auntie. Who wouldn’t want to be taken care of by my mom?
0:36:14:45 Pamela D Wilson: This went on for some time, and I remember overhearing my parents talk about the fact that Auntie was well and it was time for her to go back home, but she wasn’t leaving. Finally, my mom had to resort to unplugging the television and saying that it was broken to get my Aunt to return home. A simple solution to a troublesome problem back then of how to get rid of annoying relatives. It wasn’t that Auntie was annoying. She was just there, not at all helping herself. And I don’t remember her being appreciative or thanking my mother. It was as if the care was expected.
0:36:56:24 Pamela D Wilson: How many of you feel that way? Do your parents, in-laws, or other family members expect you to provide care because you seem to be the responsible one or you are the available one? How much of what we do in being helpful and kind is interpreted as a duty or a responsibility that eventually results in us wanting to make a plan for how to get rid of annoying relatives. What if instead, we set time frames?
0:37:27:57 Pamela D Wilson For example. I will do this for you for 12 months, during which time we learn about caregiving and aging together. Here’s a hint. Spend an hour each week listening and talking about these podcasts with parents, in-laws, and other famliy members. Take an online caregiving course together. Hold parents, in-laws, and others accountable for learning with you and doing with you so that the idea of how to get rid of annoying relatives never becomes close to a real situation that you experience.
0:38:07:08 Pamela D Wilson: This leads us to the second Alice in Wonderland Quote by the Cheshire Cat and Alice.
Alice asked: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
0:35:30:00 Pamela D Wilson How many caregivers feel that their journey is exactly like this. Not knowing where to go? Allowing the responsibility of caring for elderly parents to take you wherever the journey leads and then wondering how you got into this situation? Instead of daily thoughts of how to get rid of annoying relatives—and avoiding wishful thinking about the days when caregiving will end, what if we were all more purposeful?
0:39:17:39 Pamela Wilson: In all situations like becoming a caregiver or moving in-laws or elderly parents into our homes, we can look back and see clearly how all of this started. The little things that parents needed help with, that grew over time. First, helping parents was 2 hours a week, and it grew to 20 hours a week, and now you may be thinking of quitting your job to have more time to dedicate to care for an elderly parent. Leaving a career or quitting a job to care for a parent is not a decision to make lightly. Do you really want to get yourself more involved in a situation that is already difficult?
0:40:02:87 Pamela Wilson Might a better path be initiating discussions about removing yourself from the caregiver role and figuring out how to get rid of the annoying aspects of caregiving responsibilities? While many caregivers may find it difficult to utter the words how to get rid of annoying relatives – this is the thought on the minds of many adult children who moved in with their parents and feel stuck. Or vice versa, you moved in-laws and parents in with you. In either situation, the solution is to become more educated about options for care for parents and how to manage the situation in which you find yourself.
0:40:48:284 Pamela D Wilson The more information you have, the more confident you will be about all aspects of caring for aging parents. Caregiving can feel like being on a roller coaster or a merry-go-round that you can’t stop because the situation has taken on its own life. We talked about fairy tales earlier. One caregiver told me that she felt like she lived in a horror movie waiting for the next thing to jump out of the dark. Caregiving doesn’t have to be this way. The experience can be positive if you take steps to learn, plan and talk to aging parents.
0:41:27:04 Pamela D Wilson Rather than how to get rid of annoying relatives, you may be able to find a way to enjoy time with your parents or in-laws separate from caregiving responsibilities that really can be done by anyone. I know, your parents would rather have you do the work. But seriously—are you the only person that can scrub a toilet, make a meal, sweep the floors, or clean the kitchen. Wait a minute. That sounds like a fairy tale—Cinderella. But in most cases, there is no handsome prince coming to rescue you. If you’re a married couple, you may be in this together.
0:42:05:89 Pamela D Wilson Rather than allowing caregiving to affect your marriage, your career, and relationships with your children, give thought to how to get rid of annoying relatives long before the annoyances arrive. Not sure what to do or how to plan to care for aging parents? Help is on my website in my online articles, caregiver courses, videos, and most of all in support that I offer to groups and corporations interested in supporting caregiving conversations. Many caregivers worry about talking to employers about caregiving responsibilities. In addition to this show that can help you talk to elderly parents and family members—I’ll be happy to talk to your groups and organizations.
0:42:50:30 Pamela D Wilson Share my website PamelaDWilson.com with your human resources manager or the decision-maker in your company. Thank you for joining me on this episode of The Caring Generation – the only program of it’s kind connecting caregivers and aging adults worldwide to talk about caregiving, health, and everything in between. Invite your family and friends to listen each week. I am Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, advocate, and speaker. I look forward to being with you again soon. God bless you all. Sleep well tonight. Have a fabulous day tomorrow and a great week until we are here together again.
Are you looking for more information about caring and planning for the care of aging parents? Read Helping Elderly Parents Make Decisions.
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