As inexperienced caregivers navigate their new role, mistakes are inevitable. Caregiving is a difficult task, and even the most experienced caregivers slip up from time to time. Here are six mistakes you should try to avoid.
1. Doing Everything Yourself
Being a caregiver requires a wide skill set. Caregivers are often called upon to manage finances, handle legal concerns, resolve insurance issues, and do the housekeeping. Think of caregiving as a small business, and treat it with the same level of investment. When you aren’t equipped to handle something, don’t feel bad about outsourcing, which could mean hiring professionals to take care of legal or financial matters or asking family members to help with routine tasks like cooking or transportation.
If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality in-home care, Altamonte Springs Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Forgetting to Take Care of Yourself
Caregiver burnout is common for a reason. The responsibilities of caregiving are vast, and they can leave caregivers feeling depressed, anxious, and overworked. To avoid this feeling, keep track of your mental and physical health. Eat right, exercise regularly, and find healthy emotional outlets.
3. Withholding Information
Caregivers shouldn’t withhold important information from other family members. You may feel as though you’re protecting your family from a harsh diagnosis or a grim reality, but you’re really just adding to your own burden. Other family members can’t provide effective assistance if they don’t understand their senior loved one’s health condition and care needs.
4. Making Promises You Can’t Keep
Your role as caregiver may shift as your loved one’s needs change. Try not to make concrete promises, as you can’t predict what will happen in the future. Broken promises may cause unnecessary bitterness down the line, so try to keep your future options open.
5. Believing Everything You Read on the Internet
The internet is a valuable source of information, and you should use it as a resource. It’s good to learn as much as possible about your loved one’s condition. However, this doesn’t mean your knowledge supersedes that of medical professionals. No matter how informed you are, you probably aren’t as knowledgeable as your loved one’s doctor. While you may not know as much about the neural damage that led to your loved one’s dementia, you are best informed about his or her daily habits and symptoms. Don’t be afraid to discuss your personal knowledge with care providers.
If you are the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Orlando, 24-hour care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
6. Forgetting to Plan
Caregivers should have a long-term plan. Making a plan can be difficult, as it involves tricky financial and legal decisions. However, planning is essential for caregivers, as it prevents them from being primarily reactive and haphazardly solving crises. With a firm plan in place, you can figure out how to manage expected and unexpected issues.
Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Windermere families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give Home Care Assistance a call at (407) 604-0506 today.