Community Blog

How to Let Go of the Past When it Affects The Caregiver

By Michael Hagman, RN, BSN

Caregivers in Boulder MT

Whether we have been hurt by a sibling, significant other, friend, or parent in the past, many people subconsciously hold on to that pain for years after the incident occurred. Caregivers who are still holding on to what happened previously in their life can find it difficult to provide care for the family member that betrayed them. Whatever it was that caused them pain will most likely overshadow all of the love, support, and happy memories the caregiver has with their parent.
Moving forward is not always easy, but necessary in order to help provide your loved one with the care they need. In order to help let go of the past and move forward with caregiving responsibilities, here are some ideas that will help.

  • Focus on the positive. Even the worst relationships have their good moments. It may not be easy, but try to focus on the positive aspects of your relationship with the elder instead of holding on to the negative ones.
  • Do not let your past control your present. You will be severely hindering future opportunities and relationships if you continue to be enthralled by the past. Instead of holding on to previous hurts, you need to learn how to move past it in order to provide the care your loved one needs. Seeing the elder in a fragile, vulnerable state may also help soften up your own viewpoints of them, allowing you to let go of some of the painful memories.
  • Provide care for the senior because it is the right thing to do. Many people will choose to refuse to care for a family member because they did not feel loved by that person as a child, they felt like the parent liked their siblings more than them, or for other reasons. It may be difficult to do, but you need to set aside your own personal feelings and think about what is best for the elderly adult.

According to AARP, we subconsciously keep tallies in our relationship, keeping track of the good and bad each person has done for them. This can cause previous memories to stand out compared to the fond memories. You and your aging parent may not have had a close relationship in the past, but providing care for them may help strengthen that bond and help both of you find a new appreciation for one another.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Boulder, MT, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (406) 438-2231.