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Serving families in Palm Beach, Martin and Port St. Lucie counties

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Seeking Comfort for New Caregivers

Judie Rappaport
January 15, 2015

Dear Judie,

I read a lot about “role reversal” before becoming a caregiver and now I’m there. As mom gets sicker I find myself trying to calm her fears and help her make decisions like when to eat, bathe, or go to the bathroom. I feel like I’m the parent and she’s the child. Where do I go for comfort if I can’t go to my mother? I never expected to feel so sad.

- Teresa, Stuart


Dear Teresa,

Almost nothing you read or hear can prepare you for this feeling. You’ve had a lifelong expectation that your parent would be there if you needed help. Now that safeguard is gone.  You may be able to help avoid some of your feelings by giving your mother more control in the decision-making process whenever possible. However, it is important to understand that no matter how much assistance you provide, you are not the parent—you are a loving or dutiful child, helping a parent who can no longer help herself.   Your next step is to learn to understand and manage your feelings before they adversely affect your relationships, career, or quality of life.  Talk to a professional counselor or join a support group at Martin Memorial.


Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©


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