Feeling Trapped Caring for Elderly Parents: Support & Solutions

Embracing the role of caregiver for aging parents can be demanding.

You're managing many responsibilities, and at times, it may feel like too much.

It's natural to experience moments of feeling overwhelmed as a caregiver.

This doesn't reflect a lack of love or dedication, but rather acknowledges the human experience of navigating complex emotions and challenges.

Below, we'll talk about why you're feeling trapped as a caregiver. We'll also explore some strategies to minimize the stress, find a bit of breathing room, and get the support you need.

Whether you're questioning your decisions or looking for ways to ease the burden, we're here to help you navigate these challenges and do what's best for you and your loved one.

Why You're Feeling Trapped as a Caregiver

Caring for an elderly parent is extremely rewarding, but it's also a huge responsibility that comes with a range of challenges. Understanding why you're feeling trapped as a caregiver is the first step toward finding solutions.


Caregiving can become a full-time, around-the-clock job that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. When you're constantly giving your energy, time, and attention without a break, it's easy to burn out. And burnout leads to feelings of frustration, irritability, and a sense of helplessness.

Loss of Independence

Loss of freedom is one of the most challenging aspects of caregiving. The relentless demands can severely limit your ability to pursue personal interests and social activities, making you feel like you're giving up your life to care for your loved one.

Financial Strain

From medical expenses to loss of income due to reduced working hours, caring for an elderly loved one at home can come with many financial burdens. This financial strain can lead to stress and make you feel trapped in a situation without a clear way out.

Career Sacrifices

Approximately 70% of working caregivers suffer work-related difficulties due to their dual roles working and providing care, according to an AARP study cited by Family Caregiver Alliance. 

These work-related difficulties can include making career sacrifices, such as declining promotions, reducing their work hours, or even leaving their jobs entirely. This can lead to feelings of regret or anxiety about the future, further contributing to feelings of being trapped.

Lack of Support

Caregivers often feel isolated if they don't have a strong support system. Without adequate help from family, friends, community resources, or professionals, the responsibilities can become overwhelming and isolating, increasing the feeling of being trapped.

Emotional, Mental, and Physical Toll of Caregiving

The constant demands of caregiving can take a significant toll on your emotional, mental, and physical health. You may be experiencing health problems of your own, as well as anxiety, depression, or physical exhaustion. Not feeling well mentally or physically can intensify resentment and feelings of being trapped.

What to Do When Feeling Trapped Caring for Elderly Parents

Now that we've identified why you're feeling trapped as a caregiver, let's explore some steps you can take to lighten the load and regain control.

Embrace Technology

From caregiver apps to elderly monitoring systems, technology can be a game changer for caregivers and older adults who want to age independently. For example, with a remote caregiving system like Jubilee TV, you can support your loved one's health and safety through a device they're already familiar with - the television in their living room!

Jubilee TV's easy video calling feature allows you to have real-time, face-to-face conversations and check in from anywhere. You can also monitor your parents' TV routine and get notified when they don't follow their normal schedule. Or, schedule daily check-ins, set customized reminders for medications or doctor's appointments, and share photos or videos.

You can even fix problems with your loved one's television through a user-friendly app on your cell phone, allowing you to live your life while offering the support your loved one needs. The system is thoughtfully designed for ease of use and privacy, so you can stay connected and informed without being intrusive.

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Explore Respite Care Options

Respite care offers temporary relief for primary caregivers by providing on-demand care for your loved one at home or in a care facility. This can be an invaluable solution for burnout, giving you time to rest, recharge, and attend to other aspects of your life.

Respite care can come in the form of a friend or family member, local community programs, home health workers, or adult day care centers. Explore the options available to you, find one that fits your needs, and give yourself a break. You'll be in a better position to provide quality care for your parent without feeling trapped.

Hire Professional Help

Hiring professional help, such as an in-home caregiver or home health aide, can alleviate some of the burden of caregiving, allowing you to lead a more normal life. They can assist your loved one with daily tasks, medications, self-care, and companionship while you work or attend to other responsibilities.

Whether it's for one or two days a week or full-time assistance, professional help can make a significant difference. It also allows you to focus on a loving relationship with your parent without constantly feeling trapped by caregiving responsibilities.

Apply for Income and Care Assistance

Many caregivers are unaware of the assistance opportunities available to them. From local community programs that deliver hot meals to programs that assist with equipment and home modifications to grants that can provide financial relief, there are a lot of opportunities for caregivers to get help with the burdens of caring for an elderly loved one.

The National Family Caregiver Support Program and Family Caregiver Alliance are two great places to start your search for programs and services that offer support in your area. Be sure to check around in your local community as well. Research and apply for as many programs as possible to see what you qualify for.

When to Consider Alternative Living Options

If caring for your loved one has become more than you can handle, the best option for both of you may be to explore alternative living arrangements. It may be time to check into assisted living facilities, senior communities, or nursing homes in your local area. These facilities can offer a level of companionship and care that may be difficult to achieve at home.

Discuss the possibilities with your loved one, other family members, and healthcare providers to make an informed decision that's right for everyone. Considering alternative living arrangements can be difficult, but it's important to recognize when the current situation is no longer sustainable.

Coping Strategies for Caregiver Well-Being

Taking care of yourself allows you to provide better care for your loved one. Here are some ways to prioritize your own well-being while meeting your caregiving responsibilities.

Prioritize Self Care

As a caregiver, it's easy to neglect your own needs, but doing so leads to burnout. Make time for activities that rejuvenate you, such as hobbies, exercise, or spending time with friends and other family members.

Regular exercise, quality sleep, and a healthy diet are also fundamental to maintaining your mental and physical health. Emotional self care is also important, such as journaling, talking to a trusted friend, or joining a support group.

By prioritizing self-care, you build your own resilience and ensure that you're in the best possible place to provide quality care for your loved one.

Set Realistic Expectations and Boundaries

Setting realistic expectations for yourself is crucial to your role as a caregiver. Acknowledge that you can't do it all, and that's ok. Communicate openly with your loved one and other family members about what you can and cannot handle, and don't be afraid to delegate tasks or bring in outside help.

Establishing boundaries is also essential. Clearly define times when you're unavailable for caregiving duties to focus on your own needs and responsibilities. Having a plan in place for respite care when you're off duty is a must for ensuring that you get the breaks you need.

Time Management Techniques for Caregivers

Effective time management is the secret to balancing caregiving with other responsibilities. To create a plan that works for you, start by writing a list of all of your caregiving tasks and personal responsibilities. Prioritize each item based on urgency and importance, then break larger tasks into manageable steps.

Using a planner, calendar, to-do list, or time management app, create a daily or weekly schedule that includes your tasks, breaks, and personal time. Learn to say no to additional commitments that may overwhelm you.

Finding Support for Caregivers

If you're feeling trapped by caring for an elderly parent, finding support is a must. Connecting with others who understand your situation can provide much-needed relief and advice. Here are a few ways to find support as a caregiver.

Online Forums and Support Groups

Online forums and support groups offer a convenient way to connect with other caregivers. These platforms provide a safe place to share experiences, ask for advice, and find a sense of community. 

Websites like AgingCare, CaringBridge, and Caregiver Action Network host active communities where you can find encouragement from others who understand your situation. You can join the discussion anytime, which is helpful if you need immediate support or advice.

Local Caregiver Networks

Local caregiver networks provide in-person support and resources within your community. They often organize support groups, educational workshops, and even social events. They can also connect you with resources like respite care, volunteer assistance, and other local programs.

A simple internet search or post in local Facebook groups can help you find programs in your local area. You can also reach out directly to community centers, local churches, and senior organizations to find out if they offer programs that would benefit you and your loved one.

Counseling and Therapy Options

Professional counseling and therapy can be incredibly beneficial for caregivers. Talking to a licensed therapist can help you process the emotional and mental challenges of feeling trapped by caregiving. Therapists can also help you develop coping strategies and stress management techniques while providing a safe place to express your feelings without judgment.

Sessions can be done individually, but you may want to consider family counseling if caregiving is affecting your relationships. Many therapists offer flexible hours or teletherapy, which can be more convenient for busy family caregivers.

Embrace Support and Take Back Your Life

Feeling trapped by caring for an elderly parent is a common experience for caregivers, but there are ways to find balance and support. By understanding why you feel this way and exploring practical solutions, you can take back your life and still be there for your loved one.

Jubilee TV offers a range of tools and features designed to help you monitor and support your loved one, giving you peace of mind even when you can't be there in person. Get Jubilee TV today and take the first step towards a healthier balance for you and better care for your loved one!