Tell Us: What Traits Do Successful Family Caregivers Have?

success-70193_640Recently, I’ve had two separate conversations about the same topic:

How do you some individuals make it through a caregiving situation in pretty good shape while others seem to just fall apart?

During one conversation, a daughter who cared for both of her parents spoke honestly about the mess she was as she cared for them. She couldn’t cope, she didn’t handle the stress. Now, a few years since her father died and a decade since her mom’s death, she still feels like she’s trying to put her life back on track.

We wondered what traits she didn’t have which would have helped to make her experience a little easier. We debated about what others have that helps them navigate a challenging and overwhelming experience without losing themselves and their lives in the process.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What traits do you think successful family caregivers have? What characteristics do individuals who make it through caregiving mostly unscathed possess?

Please share your thoughts in our comments section, below.

Avatar of Denise

About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

7 thoughts on “Tell Us: What Traits Do Successful Family Caregivers Have?

  1. Avatar of PegiPegi

    Not sure anyone makes it out completely unscathed. Here are some of the traits I have found to be most useful: patience, adaptability, confidence, knowledge (ask questions of medical professionals, research illness), realize for the most part you are not in control and try to find some joy each day.

  2. Avatar of janjan

    I was wondering the same thing. My next blog was going to be “A Tale of Two Sisters”, exploring how I can care for my mom long-term but my sister cannot. Certainly my sister has all the compassion, competence, and persistence to succeed. It’s the emotional piece that is her roadblock. She grieves the losses, she still feels the stings of the past. I feel like I’ve jumped over the roadblock of those emotions. I still feel frustrated, lonely, and exasperated with the task but it’s not personal because this is not my mom any more.

  3. Haley

    The traits I have found to be helpful in keeping sanity while caregiving have been prioritizing, being able to learn that I cannot control everything, compassion, humor, organization, and taking a step back… stepping back and finding the beauty in the little things in my life. :)

  4. Avatar of JanetJanet

    The traits I have found helpful me: I did my first caregiving from 1999 – 2002 my grandmother who was 99 when she died. Both my hubby and I were working full time and no ideal what we doing. We made it through those, I look back don’t know how we did it. With my grandmother I didn’t know what question to ask, and how we could get through this.
    Now with my mom, we both are retired now so it makes a little easier. I survive breast cancer after my grandmother died along with 3 major back surgeries, my mom was there every time I had surgery. I have learn to take it slow with my mom and try not to let what she said hurts me. I made promise to mom long time ago to mom I would never put her in a nursing home and she think that what I done putting her in rehab, I also ask what out there that will help you. Luck for me, my husband and I make a good tag team.

  5. Gloria

    How do you define success? As Pegi stated no one comes out of it unscathed..Theres always a feeling that maybe you could have done more…Strength, tenacity, love and for me knowing one day it will all end is what kept me going..

  6. Susan,

    I think it takes a lot of courage to be a caregiver. Most of us are just thrown into this position without warning. Just the very act of taking on this kind of enormous responsibility brings out the best in our heart of all hearts. It calls for unconditional love, often times forgiveness, and most of all, strength, compassion and patience. Not everyone can achieve this in life, but when you do, it makes you realize a lot about yourself as a human being. It is an opportunity for growth, and to embrace the challenges that life has given us!


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