Being a family caregiver for your elderly loved one can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, but it can also be one of the most challenging, both physically and emotionally. While you may initially think of the physical and even logistic challenges of being a caregiver and how you may need to overcome those to care for your senior properly, it is critical that you also think about how this role will impact you emotionally and if you are truly prepared to handle these potential challenges.
Some things to keep in mind when considering whether you are emotionally prepared for a caregiver role for your elderly loved one include:
- Quality of your relationship. You would like to think that being a family caregiver would only come in a relationship that is strong, happy, and loving. This, however, is not always the case. Unfortunately, some adults are put into the position of needing a caregiver when they do not have a good relationship with their child. This does not mean, however, that you cannot be a good caregiver. Considering the quality of the relationship can help to prepare you and make you feel more confident going into the care arrangement.
- Decision-making skills. Being a caregiver will mean that you will face many situations when you need to make decisions for and about your elderly parent. These can be very difficult and may need to happen extremely quickly. You must consider whether you are comfortable and confident making and standing behind these decisions.
- Ability to handle stress. Being a family caregiver can be extremely stressful. This is particularly true if your parent is suffering from a serious medical condition such as cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. Being able to handle this stress effectively can make a tremendous difference in your health and well-being as well as your parent’s.
- Comfort with your parent’s mortality. It can be very upsetting to think about your parent facing their end-of-life transition. As a caregiver you need to be able to accept this eventuality and give your parent love, care, support, and assistance despite your emotions.
If your parent’s needs, limitations, and challenges have become more than you feel that you can handle effectively and efficiently, your schedule has changed and you are no longer able to be with them as often as you would like to, or you simply feel that they would benefit from diversified attention during their later years, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. A care provider can be in the home with your elderly loved one on a schedule that is right not just for their individual needs and limitations, but also the care that you are able to give to them. This means that they are able to help your senior remain safe, happy, healthy, and comfortable while also pursuing a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, independent, and fulfilling as possible as they age in place. This can give your parent reassurance while giving you tremendous peace of mind knowing that even when you are not able to be with them, they are getting everything that they need, easing your caregiver stress and improving quality of life for both you and your senior.
The staff at Home Care Matters is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable caregiver services in Duluth, GA and the surrounding areas. Call (678) 828-2195 for more information.
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