Your mother, father, or another elderly loved one may get to a point in their life when they can no longer care for themselves. When this happens, you may want to take on the responsibility of being their caregiver. While there are plenty of benefits (cost, comfort, and familiarity) of taking on their care by yourself, it may not be in your loved one’s or your best interest. To help you decide how to approach your loved one’s care, here are four questions to ask yourself:
1. Am I capable of handling the responsibility of being a caregiver by myself?
Caring for an elderly loved one is a big responsibility. As a caregiver, you are responsible for someone else’s safety, well-being, and quality of life. Because of this, the first—and most important—question to ask yourself is whether you’re capable of handling the responsibility by yourself. If you aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to admit it! There is no shame in asking for help—from other family members or a senior care agency.
2. Will I be able to take breaks when I need to?
We all experience those days when we just don’t feel like doing anything. When this happens to you, maybe you like to read a book, go for a walk, or just spend the day lounging around. As a loved one’s caregiver, will you have opportunities to take breaks? Will you be able to leave your loved one for periods at a time, or will they need constant attention?
3. Can I balance my work and personal life with being a caregiver?
Will you be able to balance your existing job, your social life, and other obligations with being a loved one’s caregiver? While you may be willing to make sacrifices for their well-being, you may end up resentful if you have to sacrifice too much. That resentment could end up harming your relationship with your loved one over time.
4. How will being a caregiver affect my mental or physical health?
Just like with any other job, being a caregiver can take a toll on you—mentally and physically. You’ll need to consider how much of a toll it may have on you. For example, if your loved one needs mobility assistance, you may have to physically help them around the house, which can be hard on your body. If your loved one is struggling with Alzheimer’s or dementia, will you be able to handle the emotional or mental stress of caring for them on a daily basis?
If you aren’t sure whether you can provide the amount and quality of care that your loved one needs or you’re feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility, contact us. We can personalize a care plan to give you the relief and assistance you need. Maybe you just need a break here and there. In this case, respite care can help take some of the weight off of your shoulders. Our caregivers can also provide more frequent care to fit your schedule and needs. Learn more about the different types of senior care below.