Although being a caregiver can be rewarding, and the memories will last forever, it can also be one of the most taxing and draining times in your life. Even when carefully managed, caring for a loved one on your own is hard work. There are some things that are commonly seen in these situations, and whether you do them intentionally or sub-consciously, be aware. Take a few minutes and ask yourself if you are engaging in any of these actions:
CONSTANT HOVERING is exhausting for everyone. You aren’t doing your loved ones any favors. Let them have some alone time. Even just a few minutes will be appreciated. Try to make the situation safe for them, and then walk away for a little while. Try not to stand and watch their every move, but if you pop your head in now and then, that is a step in the right direction. Make sure to use common sense when deciding what is appropriate for your loved one. Take your family member’s safety into concern at all times.
- PLAYING WHAT IF can put gray hair on your head in a hurry. An injury or illness is enough to deal with. Keep to the facts and don’t allow too many scenarios to play in your head.
- ALLOWING GUILT IN can take many forms. You may wish you had done something differently to prevent an injury. You may wish you had said something different when it still mattered. Guilt may stem from the past or from more recent issues. Please get some counsel to release this emotion for your own protection and to allow you to help with a clear mind and heart.
- DOING TOO MUCH is a common problem. It may be tied to emotional issues. You may find that by keeping busy, you don’t have time to grieve for this loved one’s situation. Take a step back, assess their abilities, and let them do what they can while they still can. Try to take comfort in allowing them this time and the freedom to still do some things.
- NOT SHARING THE RESPONSIBILITY with other family members or Your Choice home care staff can wear you down quickly. Everyone needs down time. Your loved one needs to see other people, and so do you. It doesn’t mean you aren’t dedicated. In fact, your desire to care for yourself shows a strong commitment to keep everyone cared for.
- ASSUMING FAMILY DRAMA during times of hardship is a normal trap. Having a loved one close by you most of the time means that you are also going to have all of their family issues close to you. If it involves the safety or emotional health of your loved one, get involved, and get it settled. If not, allow them to handle things their way.
- ALLOWING OTHER FAMILY DYNAMICS TO SUFFER is a natural result of being a caregiver. It is hard to go to a football game, band concert, college graduation, or any family function when your loved one needs you. Being able to put your own family first at least part of the time will assure them that they are also loved. Find time. Schedule Your Choice Senior Care staff to be available for these things when you have enough notice, or ask a family member to come for a few hours.
Taking care of another person does not mean putting yourself and your family aside. It means finding ways to balance the two, and keep your own needs met at the same time.
For more information about Your Choice Senior Care call 205-382-6222 in the Birmingham area and 251-599-8101 in Baldwin or Mobile County. To email us directly, please send us a detailed message to: Info@yourchoiceseniorcare.com. We’d love to make your life easier with superior home care you can rely on from a local, family owned, provider. Find us on Facebook for exciting news and events!