Family caregiving is never easy, but with experience, many caregivers learn to avoid certain pitfalls. However, for caregivers just starting out, navigating their new lifestyle may be incredibly difficult, and their decision-making skills could lead them astray. Here are five decisions caregivers should try to avoid.
1. Taking too Much Responsibility
Many caregivers attempt to fulfill their senior loved one’s every need by themselves. They’re responsible for scheduling doctor’s appointments, keeping track of medications, doing the grocery shopping, and updating other family members with the latest medical information. When caregivers take on too much responsibility, they often sacrifice their own goals or their sense of self, which could result in caregiver burnout. To prevent burnout and find a healthy balance, delegate responsibilities whenever possible. Overexertion doesn’t help you or your loved one in the long run.
If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elderly care, El Dorado County Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Practicing Poor Sleep Hygiene
For many caregivers, overexertion goes hand in hand with lack of sleep. This frequently happens to caregivers who care for seniors with unpredictable sleep cycles. Inadequate sleep doesn’t mean you simply have to grab an extra cup of coffee in the morning. It can take a genuine toll on the body, causing mood disorders and an elevated risk for cardiovascular conditions. To get sufficient sleep, try to get your loved one to follow a normal sleep schedule. Doctors often prescribe healthy sleep hygiene and limited access to electronics at night. Once your loved one’s sleep is better regulated, apply the same rules to your own nightly schedule.
3. Using the Wrong Words
There are certain words and phrases caregivers should remove from their vocabulary. Don’t speak in absolutes like “always” and “never,” as these words can raise expectations you might not be able to fulfill. You should also limit the use of phrases like “should have” and “would have.” Caregivers are faced with decisions every day, and there’s little use dwelling on regrets. It’s always best to move forward free of self-recriminations.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if you need a break from your caregiving duties to stave off negative emotions. Though you may be researching multiple home care agencies, El Dorado County, CA, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust in Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years.
4. Not Planning for the Future
When they’re first starting out, caregivers often find themselves so swamped with responsibilities that they don’t plan farther than the next doctor’s appointment. However, it’s important to have a long-term care plan, as it can prevent you from being overwhelmed by unexpected obstacles. By making plans and learning as much as possible about your loved one’s health, you can take control over the situation.
5. Skipping the Training Stage
When caregivers jump into the role without doing the requisite research, they’re often surprised by how challenging caregiving can be. There are specific skills caregivers need to learn, like how to lift and transfer or how to talk to a senior with dementia. You may want to take a training course or read a caregiver training book to ensure you provide your loved one with the best possible care. Because many of the tasks of caregiving are physical, inadequate training could result in injuries for both you and your loved one, which can be easily prevented by routine training or research.
A professional caregiver can provide additional strategies for making the right caregiving decisions and ensuring your loved one leads a happy and healthy life. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. El Dorado County, CA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Call us at (916) 358-3801 to learn about our premier in-home care plans.