Being a family caregiver to an elderly parent is both rewarding and frustrating. On the plus side, it’s a chance to stay close to your senior mom or dad and give them the tender care they need as they face illness, injury or the effects of aging. It’s a wonderful way for adult children to give back to the parent that dedicated so much of their lives to them.
However, being a family caregiver exposes people to a lot of stress, both physical and mental. As with any responsibility, there are ways to accomplish them so that everyone benefits. There are also plenty of ways for family caregivers to make mistakes, especially when it comes to finding balance and dealing with their own health and wellness.
Here are 5 common mistakes that family caregivers make and what they should do to avoid them:
1. Underestimating the Scope of Duties
Too many family caregivers think that all they need to do is pop in to see their aging parent in the morning and maybe again after work. However, seniors that are dependent on another require more than that. If they are struggling with mobility, flexibility, mental capacity or even loneliness and isolation, they need more than brief visits to stay safe and healthy.
2. Sacrificing Personal Time
As family caregivers shoulder more and more of the responsibilities of their aging mom or dad, they sacrifice their own free time to compensate. Often, the first activities to go are exercise, socializing with friends and personal hobbies. However, these activities are crucial in keeping people physically and mentally balanced. Without them, stress builds and starts to affect their health.
3. Failing to Ask for Help
Elderly adults frequently need a lot of help just to accomplish the tasks required for daily living, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, preparing meals, cleaning the house, toileting, laundry and getting to appointments. Family caregivers that try to do all that alone are simply not going to accomplish it all. However, emotions like pride, embarrassment, resentment and jealousy can interfere with a family caregiver’s ability to ask other family members and friends for help with their loved one or themselves.
4. Avoiding Hiring a Home Care Provider
Many family caregivers either don’t know about or won’t look into hiring a home care provider to help with the elderly parent. Professional home care providers are trained to work with aging adults and can provide family caregivers with much-needed breaks. Home care providers can be scheduled to meet the needs of both seniors and family caregivers. They are dependable, trustworthy and provide peace of mind for family caregivers when they take deserved breaks.
5. Feeling Guilty
There are a lot of emotions that come with being a family caregiver. It can be hard to watch an elderly mom or dad decline due to injury, illness, chronic conditions and more. Often, family caregivers feel very guilty at wanting to take some time for themselves, or they feel they aren’t doing a very good job. With other family members, a home care provider and community resources all lending a hand, family caregivers can feel better about themselves and their responsibilities.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in China Grove NC, please contact the caring staff at TenderHearted Home Care today. (704) 612-4132.
I have enjoyed volunteering my time as the President of the Rowan County Home School Association, assisting with the Parkinson’s Support Group, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Pregnancy Support Center, MOPS International, Capstone Recovery Center, Kairos Outside, Celebrate Recovery, various church committees and going on a mission trip to Moldova. I am a member of the Rowan County Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels board member, REACH of Rowan County, HIPSS of Davidson County, Second Tuesday Business Group and several Christian Business Life Groups.
I am passionate about serving others and providing the most compassionate care possible, as I would want for my own family. I love relaxing with my husband, Peter, and my two dogs, Yoyo and Terra Cotta.