When you become a caregiver, you might have all kinds of ideas about what it will be like or what you should do. You may even have some misconceptions about what it means to be a caregiver and what is expected of you. Unfortunately, when you believe some of the myths about caregiving, it can hinder you and make the job harder. Below are some common myths about being a caregiver that we want you to know the truth about.
Myth: I should be able to handle all of the tasks involved in being a caregiver on my own.
Truth: No one really expects you to be able to handle everything on your own. In fact, doing so can be bad for your health. It can cause you to become so busy that you neglect your own health. You may skip your own medical appointments, grab fast food because it’s quicker and easier, or not be able to find time to exercise. It’s important to ask for help when you need it. You may be surprised at how many people are willing to pitch in if you only ask. If you truly feel like there’s no one you can ask, consider contacting a home care agency and hiring someone to take on some of the duties.
Myth: I’m doing a bad job as a caregiver if the older adult continues to decline.
Truth: You cannot stop someone from aging, and you cannot reverse incurable diseases. That means the care you are providing is not the problem, so you should not blame yourself if your aging relative’s condition worsens. Remember, your care is an important part of the senior’s well being and may be the difference between them being able to remain at home or having to enter a long-term care facility.
Myth: I shouldn’t have negative thoughts about being a caregiver.
Truth: Having some negative feelings about caregiving is perfectly normal. After all, given the choice, most people would choose to do other things with their time. And, you certainly wouldn’t choose to have someone you care about in declining health. Venting those feelings at a caregiver support group can be helpful and let you know that you’re not alone. Or, you might lean on a supportive friend who doesn’t mind listening and whom you can rely on to make you feel better. However, if you find yourself feeling depressed, talk to your doctor. Depression is a serious condition, but it can be treated with medications and/or therapy.