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When Caregiving Becomes Too Much

October 12, 2020

Acting as a caregiver to a sick or aging loved one is one of the toughest jobs out there. It requires the ability to manage a variety of tasks and juggle many aspects of life, as well as emotional skills and an open stream of communication. So, what is one to do when caregiving becomes too much? How does a caregiver navigate the difficulties of stepping back and outsourcing additional care?

What are the needs of your caregiving situation?

First of all, it is important to keep healthy emotional boundaries to see the clarity of your situation. What are your needs versus the needs of your loved one? It is important to recognize that your own self-care is critical in being able to care for another person. 

In our country, the majority of care for the elderly and aging is placed on family members or close friends. Many of us may have an ideal scenario in mind: an aging parent being cared for at home by a doting son or daughter who is all too happy to be by their side. We may think that having one person give care is the best situation.

Caregiving should be a relay race, not a marathon

A recent article from AARP shed some light on the falsity of this picture-perfect scenario, calling caregiving a relay race instead of a marathon. This insinuates help from more than one person, as it is completely acceptable (and necessary) to have a tribe of loved ones and friends taking care of an elderly family member. 

If you are feeling torn and overwhelmed, are there others that you can reach out to? Does your loved one have a network of friends or do you have other family members who could help take on certain tasks? Even if it means making a shift from performing daily tasks to weekly ones, you will still be maintaining the relationship with your elderly loved one.

Companion caregivers can fill in the gaps

Senior Home Companions is a great resource for those who wish to have a break from caregiving while still providing aging family members with high-quality care. You can rely on our caregivers for many of the daily tasks of home management and care for your loved one, such as homemaking, companionship, personal assistance, outings, doctor’s visits, etc. 

Imagine having a well-matched, consistent companion spending time with your loved one and freeing up time in the schedules of you and/or other family members. We offer flexibility to support the personal needs of your situation and a thorough match-making process.

In caregiving, remember to be flexible 

Ideally, you would be able to engage in a conversation about expectations and boundaries before beginning the care of a loved one, but many times it does not happen this way. Most of the time, a sudden illness or accident tends to be the starting point of a senior requiring more care. 

That is why it is incredibly important to assess and then reassess what you and your loved one need over time. This process could even include our Family Matters counseling program, which helps to facilitate family meetings to explore topics that may be difficult to approach and addresses fruitful plans for living arrangements, family responsibilities, legal/financial relationships and more. 

Caregiving requires endless flexibility and patience as well as an ability to be open and honest about physical and emotional needs. Senior Home Companions is glad to be here to make the transition easier for everyone and keep your loved one safe and sound at home! Contact us today for your free consultation to learn more.