Are you really a caregiver? There are some myths floating around that rely on guilt to make some family caregivers wonder if they should truly consider that as their role in their senior’s life. That feeling can sneak up on even the most involved family caregiver, so here are some thoughts to keep in mind. No matter what your situation is, only you can determine if you’re truly filling the role of a caregiver for your aging family member.
The Belief that You’re Not Helping “Enough”
There’s a school of thought that suggests that you have to be consistently overwhelmed by care tasks for your senior in order to call yourself her caregiver. Or that you have to engage in specific types of care, like helping her to eat or to bathe, in order to be called a family caregiver. But those might not be the types of care your senior needs, and that doesn’t mean you’re not providing care for her.
There Are Lots of Ways to Be a Family Caregiver
Your senior can need care in so many different ways that don’t involve helping her to get dressed. For example, your elderly family member may need you to handle her grocery shopping and other errands for her, while she still cooks for herself and cleans up afterward. That’s an act of care, no matter how you slice it.
Facilitating and Managing Care Counts
But what about if you live far away from your senior and can’t help her personally? That also doesn’t mean that you aren’t a family caregiver. Managing and facilitating the hands-on care that your senior needs, no matter where you are, is still the job of a family caregiver. Elderly care providers may be handling the day-to-day active care, but that doesn’t take away from what you’re doing.
Needing Help Doesn’t Mean You’re Not a Family Caregiver
Even if you live with your senior, taking respite time or having an extra set of hands on deck doesn’t mean you’re not a caregiver. Lots of family caregivers run themselves ragged trying to do everything because they’re concerned that having help means they’re not really caring for their senior.
Abandoning these myths about being a family caregiver can help you to get the assistance that you need and can ensure that your elderly family member has the help that she needs all the time. That’s important for the physical and mental health of both you and your senior.