If Family Caregiving Was Easy, Everybody Would Be One
About Family Caregivers
People who choose Caregiving as a career know what’s expected of them. They know how to handle situations because it was probably part of their training.
However, Family Caregivers are usually blindsided into caregiving for a family member because nobody else is available. There isn’t any pre-family caregiver training. Most don’t have a medical background. Sometimes they lack people skills. All they have is Dr. Google and occasional bad advice from family and friends who never call or visit the family member.
The ideal Family Caregiver has a sharp eye for making sure their loved one is comfortable and well cared for. They should have a keen eye for detail. And, worst of all, they need patience to navigate the world of HIPAA laws, medical insurance, social workers, doctors, and medications.
It sounds easy, doesn’t it?
I Wish Caregiving Was Easy
I am not a Caregiver expert. I can only share observations and the experiences I’ve encountered with my husband, from his motorcycle accident Traumatic Brain Injury through the Moderate Dementia we’re having fun with now.
I’m kidding. It’s not fun. It’s never been fun. I’ve spent the last twelve years of our lives together trying to find humor in our situation. Because if I couldn’t laugh, I just don’t know where I’d be today.
How Do We Become Family Caregivers?
I believe we become Family Caregivers one of two ways.
- A family member’s health is declining to the point where they’re unable to take care of themselves anymore.
- A loved one is involved in a catastrophic accident and is unable to care for himself/herself after returning home from hospital or rehab care.
Adjusting to Family Caregiver Life
If you’re like me, you had no medical knowledge beyond putting bandaids on your kids’ skinned knees. Now you’re the one trusted with the care of a loved one who’s more than likely just as confused as you.
Here’s a heads up: family and friends are well-meaning when they offer help if you need it. Don’t count on them to rise to the occasion. Always have a Plan B.
Caregiver Burnout Is the Number One Enemy
Family Caregivers are always reminded to take care of themselves first in order to be able to take care of their loved ones. That’s a great idea, but not easy to accomplish.
Only Family Caregivers know how real Caregiver Burnout is. It creeps up on us like a cheap pair of underwear. I mean we don’t notice it happening to us until it’s too late.