Caregiving can be a rewarding experience, as it gives people the opportunity to spend time with their senior loved ones. However, prospective caregivers should only take on the role if they understand what it entails. Here are six things you may not have known about being a caregiver.
1. Conflicting Emotions May Arise
Caregiving can inspire conflicting emotions in even the most steadfast individuals. Caring for an elderly loved one often instills a wide variety of emotions such as joy, anger, resentment, sadness, and sympathy. Initially, caregivers may feel ashamed of their feelings, and they may be reluctant to discuss them. As long as these negative emotions are not affecting your work ethic, you have nothing to be ashamed of. To manage the emotions of the job, you’ll need an outlet. Some caregivers breathe out their anxiety with meditation, while others burn it away in a boxing class.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Lincoln Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. Caregiving Is Physically Demanding
Many people don’t realize caregiving can be physically demanding. Transferring seniors from beds to wheelchairs or from chairs to the bathtub requires a lot of physical strength. If you aren’t prepared to bend and lift on a daily basis, you could pull a muscle or become injured. To maintain your own health, follow a weekly exercise regimen and invest in safety equipment such as transfer benches and handgrips.
3. You Can’t Do It All Yourself
Family caregivers often mistakenly believe they don’t need help. When the scope of the job becomes clear, they quickly realize how wrong they were. Make sure you have a solid support system before you begin, as the earliest days on the job will be much easier if you have people to turn to. You need people you can rely on to run errands, cook the occasional dinner, and even watch over your senior loved one when you need a break.
For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Lincoln, CA, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.
4. It’s Easy to Neglect Your Own Health
Many caregivers spend so much time watching over their loved ones that they develop negative health habits. They may start snacking at night, sleeping at irregular hours, or skipping their weekly exercise class. You need to maintain your own health, as chronic self-neglect can lead to caregiver burnout.
5. You May Feel Isolated at Times
When caregivers live with their senior loved ones, making time for friends and family can be difficult. If you don’t schedule social time, you could become isolated. It’s important to maintain a strong social network because you’ll want the support of good friends when caregiving becomes overwhelming.
6. There Are Resources for Caregivers
Many people aren’t aware of all the organizations willing to provide assistance for seniors and their caregivers. Research local resources, and take advantage of things like Meals on Wheels and free senior legal services.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to mitigate some of the challenges associated with caregiving. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional elderly care, Lincoln Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years. To create a customized in-home care plan for your elderly loved one, call us at 916.226.3737 today.