Caregiver Tips: It’s always wonderful to share knowledge with others.
It is how we grow. Also, when you teach others, you also end up teaching yourself to some degree. After all, when you have to explain something to another person, you are also reminding yourself of those important factors. For the average family caregiver, they have no prior experience doing this work. Use these caregiver tips to help you navigate these new steps.
They won’t know where to begin. An experienced caregiver — somebody who did this job before is, either for several years or just a few months — will likely have learned a great deal. In fact, the average family caregiver would probably do things differently the second time around, because of the things they learned along the way.
Some of those things that many family caregivers have learned are included below.
1. It is going to be tougher than you think.
Most family caregivers assume this type of job is going to be simple. They assume they can stop by their elderly parent’s house, a sibling’s house, or someone else they love and do the dishes, take out the garbage or run a few errands and that’s it.
No, that is not it. In most cases, the caregiver responsibilities are intense. They are going to be much tougher than you think.
Even if this senior only requires minimal care right now, the more help people get when they are struggling with daily tasks like cleaning, cooking, and so on, the more help they will call on before long. That is going to take a toll on you and that is just one reason why it is tougher than you would think.
2. Make sure you talk about your feelings and frustrations.
You don’t have to talk about them with the senior, but have a trusted friend, your spouse, or even a support group of other family caregivers you can vent to.
If you don’t talk about your feelings and frustrations, you will generally pack them down. When you pack them down, it becomes like a volcano, just waiting to erupt.
If you do that, expect your personal relationships, even the one with this senior, to begin falling apart. More arguments, more anger, more resentment, and so on will become the norm, rather than the exception.
So make sure you have an outlet, even if it is a professional counselor to talk about those feelings and frustrations you will experience as a family caregiver.
3. Recognize how valuable home care can be.
Too many family caregivers assume this is their responsibility so they never look into home care. In reality, though, home care is one of the most valuable assets family caregivers and the seniors they support can depend on.
You don’t have to hire home care to replace you. You can, if you need or want, but you can also hire a home care agency to provide part-time care each week. It could be just a few hours at a time. It can be for just one or two days to start.
When you understand home care and its value, you can become a much more effective caregiver for this aging family member and maybe gain some caregiver tips of your own.