How to Handle Frustration as a Family Caregiver for a Parent with Dementia

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Handle Frustration as a Family Caregiver Arlington VA

Many family caregivers providing care for senior loved ones with dementia find it extremely frustrating at times. Since scientists don’t have a cure for this debilitating condition, many caregivers are left with negative thoughts that only fuel their frustrations. These thoughts can ruin the way caregivers view themselves, their loved ones, and the world around them. If you’re a dementia caregiver, use the TIC-TOC technique to banish negative thoughts from your life.

Identifying the TIC

TIC stands for Task-Interfering Cognitions, or what we refer to as negative thoughts. These thoughts often interfere with a caregiver’s ability to feel positive about the world around him or her. One common TIC is overgeneralization. If you’re doing this, you’re drawing big circles around the smallest problems and causing yourself to see everything as negative. For example, you may say “I will never be able to get the bedroom clean.”

Family caregivers can manage some of the challenges of caregiving by hiring professional in-home care experts. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of senior home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Replacing with TOC

TOC stands for Task-Oriented Cognitions. It’s the replacement thinking that encourages dementia caregivers to start or continue specific tasks. Continuing from the previous example, you may say “I will just start with this one corner and move on from there.” 

Putting TIC-TOC in Action

The TIC-TOC technique works to replace negative thinking in all types of circumstances. For example, you may have a moment of TIC when you think “Mom doesn’t even seem to know I am here.” The TOC to that way of thinking would be “While Mom may not know I’m here, I’m giving her the best quality of care I can.” 

Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide home care. Arlington families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.

Using TIC-TOC Effectively in Most Circumstances

Dementia caregivers can use the TIC-TOC technique to replace all types of negative thinking, such as jumping to conclusions, making “should” statements, labeling others, and personalizing every situation. In the beginning, many people find it helpful to take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Label one side of the paper TIC and one side TOC. Write down your negative thoughts on one side of the paper and then your replacement thoughts on the other. 

Internalizing the Process

Most caregivers begin to internalize the process quickly. A loud ticking clock in the home can even be used as an auditory reminder. When you replace your negative thinking, you may feel more motivated to provide the best level of care while allaying your frustrations. 

Caring for seniors with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Arlington families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Assisting Hands Home Care at (703) 988-1800 today.