Family caregivers have a tough and seemingly never-ending job, which can be hard for people who have never had to care for a senior parent or loved one to relate to or understand.
Often overworked and under-appreciated, caregivers spent countless hours putting the needs of their senior before their own, so it can be frustrating when well-meaning friends and family members make comments that can hurt, such as:
1. “They won’t remember you caring for them anyway.”
When adult children step up into the role of caregiver for an aging parent or loved one, it does not matter the condition or deterioration of their parent’s mind or thought process, they still deserve the love and the care that they need. The fact that some seniors have cognitive impairments matters little on the care we will provide and doesn’t change the level of concern or love that we have for them.
2. “You should just put them in a home.”
Caregivers have a lot on their minds and even more on their to-do lists, and they don’t need anyone telling them what to do with regards to the care of their loved one. Many seniors attempt to age in place at home for as long as possible, and in many instances, there are things that make caring for a senior at home more convenient for their family as well. There is nothing wrong with putting a senior parent into a nursing facility, but for many people, home care is a great alternative and allows both the seniors and their families to stay home where they are more comfortable.
3. “You shouldn’t worry so much.”
Until you have dealt with all of the things that come with a parent needing daily care at home, such as medication needs, medical procedures, health and mobility issues, and cognitive impairments, you cannot understand what life is like. Telling someone not to worry is like telling them not to love. We care for our parents and we have a lot on our plates and with that comes worry which is a natural part of life and shows how much we care for them.
4. “I would never do that.”
The truth is until you are put in the position to be a full-time family caregiver you don’t know what you would or wouldn’t do. And every single family situation with regards to senior care is unique, and no seniors are exactly alike. Often times, out of love we find ourselves learning to do what we once thought impossible.
5. “You’re missing out on your life.”
Caregivers are fully aware of the limitations that full-time family caregiving has placed on their life, and don’t need reminding. Instead of telling them all of the things they are missing out on, consider offering to lend a hand so they can take the time to do something for themselves or have a day off from their caregiving duties.
While these sentiments are really not helpful for a family caregiver to hear, some of them could be rooted in truth. If you are spending so many hours stressing about and caring for your senior loved one, consider hiring a home care provider to offer you respite time. Caregiving is stressful and time-consuming when you have your own family, home and job to also be concerned about. A home care provider from a reputable agency can provide all the services you do for your aging parent while offering you the peace of mind to take a break from providing care. Consider a home care provider today.