4 Top concerns and difficulties family caregivers face.
Concerns and difficulties are just part of taking care of an aging parent or other aged loved one and is a act of love.
Caregiving is very time-squeezing and will lead to all kinds of issues and concerns.
Both the caregiver and their families are affected.
Being responsible for an elderly parent can result in:
- Adult children who take on care for their elder parent often becomes a lone-wolf.
- Your friends slowly disappear.
- You, the primary caregiver takes on most of the burden not thinking about your own life.
- The one responsible can come away wounded and not much good to yourself or your family afterwards.
In reality, it takes a whole army to manage caregiving effectively.
Finding ways for emotional exits where you can vent and “be yourself,” and just let it all out without worrying about offending someone.
Caregiving is a gigantic and massive commitment both physically and mentally.
Many grown children often put their loved ones at the forefront, sacrificing their own life, health and family.
Countless children often have full-time jobs, spouse and kids of their own, so adding on the attention that an aged parent needs can really take a big toll on your life.
Caregivers may also experience:
- Little sleep – insomnia.
- Back problems can occur with lifting or helping a heavy parent.
- Little to no privacy
- Major stress and anxiety
- Health issues
- Family adversity
- Disagreements with siblings
- Downright exhaustion
- For those who work an outside job, your performance may be affected
- Financial hardship
- Emotional obstacles
- Mental struggles
- Very little personal time
We come into this custodian journey not giving a thought to how long we will be here.
We can underestimate the time we’ll spend as caregivers.
Never did I imagine I’d still be here taking care of mom 16 + years later.
Just never gave it a thought.
We want our parents to live a long good life but being a caregiver can be enormously taxing to say the least.
Along with all the duties we perform we daily watch our parent’s health decline and that’s hard.
Spending time with your declining mom or do you choose to spend time with your own family.
Time, you can’t and won’t get back once it’s gone for either one you decide to choose.
You give your life to the parent you’re in charge of and take away from your own family.
Family caregiving can be a blessing and/or a curse.
Thinking about yourself
The huge undertaking of care is an important commitment physically and mentally.
We, as caregivers put our loved ones who we’re tending to first and we tend to get lost somewhere in the maze of care.
One day it may be light duty and the next can be very intense duty.
With senior care one never knows or expect how our day will unfold before us.
We as caretakers sometimes forget we need care too.
Every single one of us are human — we all run the risk that at some point in our lives something could and probably will happen to us.
We, the caregiver has an important life also and we need to take care of our own life like we take care of that aging parent, most of us don’t.
Have you ever thought of caregivers being similar to firefighters?
Caregivers tend to stomp out one flaming crisis after another.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the firefighter schedule.
We generally are fighting fires every day with no relief in sight for the snags in our lives until the day comes that our loved one passes on.
It’s exhausting fighting flames with an unpredictable power around you.
Caregivers often don’t get the help they need for the challenges they face.
And, that’s because getting outside help is expensive, hard to find and hard to arrange.
It’s often a thankless job and one that leads to guilt, dismay and concern.
Family caregivers put out fires about every day.
Two I remember quite well because they were both recent.
Incontinence and loss of bowel control.
I just stood in tears with both.
We were raised and trained on how to care for little ones but not adults.
We weren’t trained to care for the older loved one’s issues but you did learn how to care for babies and young ones.
3 different strains caregiving puts on your life:
- Giving up your job to care for your parent.
- How many hours do you put in that you aren’t paid for?
- What do you spend trying to find something that will help your parent’s problem?
Personal time strain…
- You give up your time to give to your elderly parent.
- Giving up time for reading or exercising.
- Not going out with a friend for dinner.
- Family time is extremely limited.
- How many of you have to lift your elderly mother and hurt your back?
- Do you put your health aside because you don’t have time for a physical because mom has so many doctors appts?
- Do you get a good night sleep?
There is a bright side to our role as caretaker:
We love to put a smile on our mom or dad’s face. We love to put a smile on our grandparent’s face.
One day we will need help our self and we can only pray there will be someone who loves us enough to see that we live safely and with joy.
There is a satisfying feeling when you know you did your best to give that older parent love in their last days. It’s a privilege that each of us has.
With that said, it’s still HARD. It does require you to give up a lot in your life and it can and certainly at times be agonizing and yes, we will still do our part for our parent.
We will continue keeping them safe and giving our aging loved ones love <3 and all the care we can muster up.