Date: June 25, 2021

Author: Kathleen Boziwick

Too many family caregivers needlessly complicate their caregiving journey. You may worry too much about what you’re doing and whether you should be doing something else or you could be having negative feelings around having help. The reality is that there’s no right or wrong way to be a family caregiver, and managing your senior’s individual needs involves a lot of flexibility.

Believing You’re Not a Family Caregiver Unless You Do Certain Things

Your senior may have a great many needs and you may have a great many obligations beyond being a family caregiver. In your darker moments, you might start to feel as if the tasks that you handle personally are the ones that dictate whether you can actually consider yourself part of your senior’s caregiving team or not. The reality is that even if you hire a caregiver to help your senior, you’re still doing a lot to help your elderly family member yourself.

Trying to Do Too Much on Your Own

How much are you taking on personally? It’s possible that you’re falling victim to another myth about family caregiving, which says that you have to do everything yourself or you’re either terrible at caregiving or not a family caregiver at all. This minimizes all that you are doing for your senior and isn’t accurate at all.

Ignoring Your Own Health and Needs

All too often family caregivers use some of these misguided beliefs to push themselves too hard, for too long. If that describes your situation, you may have found that your own health issues are more difficult to manage, you might be exhausted, and your emotional and mental well-being are affected. None of that helps you to be a better family caregiver.

Telling Yourself What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

Second guessing yourself also does not help in caregiving. It’s all too easy to do, however, especially when you’re worried that you’re not doing enough or that what you’re doing isn’t actually helping. Often dealing with this aspect of caregiving means that you are able to let go of tasks that you really don’t have to handle personally, which allows you to give all of your time and energy to what you can personally help your senior to manage.

Being a family caregiver for someone that you love doesn’t have to be complicated, although it often feels that way at first. Getting the help that you and your senior need makes all of that a lot easier.