The list of challenges you face as a family caregiver may seem endless. Some challenges are temporary, such as needing to figure out how to care for a sick senior loved one. Others may show up out of the blue. Being prepared for these challenges can help you make plans to address them before they impact your effectiveness as a caregiver.
1. Feeling a Lack of Confidence
New caregivers often worry they can’t manage all their loved ones’ needs. This challenge can also happen to experienced caregivers after their loved ones experience major health changes. A lack of confidence can sometimes be addressed by educating yourself about the best strategies for handling a situation. Talk to other caregivers and your loved one’s medical team to figure out what you can realistically handle.
2. Watching Your Loved One’s Health Decrease
Your role is all about keeping your loved one as healthy as possible. However, the simple process of aging causes changes in your loved one’s abilities. Certain health conditions are also not always responsive to treatment. If you feel depressed or start to think what you do isn’t valuable, talk to a professional counselor for support.
3. Finding Time to Accomplish Everything
Becoming a caregiver often means your workload doubles. Trying to handle two households can feel impossible if your loved one still lives alone. If your loved one has serious health issues, you may find the bulk of your day is spent addressing his or her care. Avoid letting your to-do list get too long by exploring options for help. Professional home care provides many services, such as grocery shopping and meal planning, that can take a lot of items off your to-do list.
Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
4. Facing Criticism
There always seems to be someone who thinks he or she knows how to handle things better than you can, and it stings to hear negative feedback when you’re doing your best. Whether you’re receiving criticism from siblings or friends, you can ask them to withhold their comments. In some cases, it may also help to look at things from the other person’s angle. If someone close to you is claiming you spend too much time caregiving, he or she may be worried you need a break.
5. Managing Challenging Behaviors
Your loved one may lash out if he or she is still in denial about needing assistance. He or she may also have dementia symptoms that can cause aggressive behavior. You can learn strategies to ease challenging behaviors, and there’s also something to be said for taking a step back when it starts to bother you. Let someone else take over for a short time so you can regain your sense of calm.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elder care, University Park Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
6. Preventing Caregiver Burnout
All these challenges can culminate in one bigger challenge. Caregiver burnout happens when things start to get out of control. You might be on the road to experiencing burnout if you feel tired, overwhelmed, or unable to experience joy each day. These are signs you need to adjust your loved one’s care plan to include assistance from other people so you can have a break.
Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. University Park families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional home care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (214) 363-3400.