Caregiving is not just a job or responsibility. Caregiving is done out of love, choice, and care. Family caregivers often find that the relationship between them and the person they’re providing caregiving for is diminishing, and the dynamics change. It is sad because you’ve shared such a huge part of your life with them with all sorts of memories. It does not have to be that way. Caregiving can become as uncomplicated and straightforward as you want it to be. Here are a few tips for making caregiving easy.
- Bring back old memories and shared interests: Think about your relationship often, remind yourself how it used to be before you became a caregiver. Play the daughter, play the son, play the relationship that they might have forgotten about. This brings the relationship back rather than just having the caregiver and care-receiver relationship.
- Don’t parent your parent: You’ll negate their lifelong experiences, which is just another loss for them. Instead, make them part of the solution you’re trying to search for and let them realize that you’re looking for teamwork. Avoid being pushy and authoritative.
- There are always some unspoken expectations: There would be expectations from the experiences they might have had with some other caregiver before you. You need to have dialogue and have open communication with them. Understand and propose solutions. Make them part of the solution.
- Say yes to help: Start making a list of things you might need help with. So, when somebody offers you their time, you can see the list and take them up on their offer. Say yes to receiving help.
- Understand money. If you don’t understand money, ask for help. Be creative. Educate yourself because it will help you as a caregiver, and also help your loved one.
- No is a full sentence. Know your boundaries, and if your loved one, family, people around you ask for something that you think that you can’t accommodate being a caregiver, say NO.