Common Challenges to Caregiving
If you are a family caregiver, then you are no stranger to hard work and challenging tasks. But for many of you, you may just be starting out as a family caregiver. It is often helpful to have some kind of idea of what challenges to expect so you avoid feeling isolated and lost. In this blog, ElderCare will go over common challenges of family caregiving, especially for caregivers who are caring for an aging loved one. We hope that this blog will help you avoid these challenges by bringing you awareness of the challenges at hand. Sometimes, just knowing what to expect can help you cope and mentally prepare for some real challenges.
What to Expect:
(1) Decreases in socializing: Indeed, one of the first thing to be affected, at least on the caregiver’s side, is a changed social life. You may no longer have time to speak or see friends and family as often as you used to see them. This is a result of the time commitment caregiving requires. Fortunately, you can address this by trying to designate specific days and times to see friends, make phone calls, or go out in public.
(2) Making time to care for yourself: Unfortunately, one of the other things that caregiving impacts is the ability to care for yourself. That is to say, you may no longer have enough time to exercise, to do relaxing activities, or to eat healthy. Although it is important to try and fit exercise and nutrition into your schedule, the best thing to do is to just be aware of your own physical and mental health. Do not stress too much if you can’t make it to the gym one evening or if you feel too tired. But, do not neglect physical activity or taking some time to relax since staying healthy can ultimately help you be a more energetic and effective caregiver.
(3) Feeling overburdened: Besides family caregiving, you probably have a host of other responsibilities of which you have to be aware, like your career, your family, or a relationship. Sometimes, you will feel overwhelmed. Just know that these moments are normal but try not to let these experiences consume you. Let them pass and keep moving forward!
(4) Financial burdens: Sometimes caregiving can get in the way of your career or require that you contribute some of your money to your loved one’s health and personal care. These are usually difficult situations to navigate, but you may be surprised how helpful certain employers can be towards your personal situations. If you feel that it is the right move in your current work environment, then you should have an honest conversation with your boss about your situation. They may be able to provide some arrangement that allows you to work part-time or from home. Remember, if you never ask, the answer is always “no!” On the other side, organizing your own personal finances will take some work. Remember to rely on free community services to help you navigate the difficult terrain of caregiving.
(5) Changes in plans: Finally, caregiving can often get in the way of plans that you made before assuming this role. There is a popular saying that goes, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” You can interpret this saying negatively and adopt a defeatist attitude, but that attitude is usually not productive. Instead, find comfort in this fact. Life is unpredictable and it is okay to not be in control. Remember that you are helping your loved one tremendously, and that fact alone can often be enough of a reason to put a hold on the other life plans you have made. Maybe these plans can come into fruition later.
If you have any questions, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.