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 on 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. Overexertion doesn’t help you or your loved one in the long run. To prevent burnout and find a healthy balance, delegate responsibilities whenever possible. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional home care, Henderson 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.
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. Elderly care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
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 beyond 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 of 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. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Henderson 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. To speak with one of our friendly Care Managers and schedule a free in-home consultation, call us today at (702) 527-7723.