7 Mistakes New Caregivers Make
When a loved one falls ill, it takes a special person to step up and take on the role of a caregiver. It’s a difficult role and most people jump in without really knowing what it entails, which makes it easy to make mistakes. That’s why it’s important to understand the most popular mistakes new caregivers make as soon as possible…
Not Asking For Help
Help can come in many forms. It can mean simply asking for information. It can mean asking other family members to take shifts. It can mean hiring a caregiver to fill in the blanks when you can’t be there. Too often, family caregivers hold off asking for any of these forms of help when they should be requesting help right from the start. You can’t do it all on your own and building a strong foundation of support right from the get-go is the only way to give your loved one the best care possible. Without it, you’ll run yourself down and then you won’t be able to give your loved one what he or she needs.
Not Understanding All That is Involved
Caregiving is more than just caring for a person. It includes filling out paperwork, handling legalities, and handling the financial side of caregiving and in many cases handling your loved one’s finances as well. Stay organized from the beginning so you don’t find yourself drowning in all of this stuff. Here are some great tips to help with this.
Not Taking Care of Yourself
You’ve probably heard about caregiver burnout but you might simply dismiss it as unimportant. We urge you not to take this point lightly. Caregiver burnout happens so often and when it does, it makes the caregiving process miserable for you and your loved one (and most likely your family as well). Use these tips to ensure you are taking care of yourself so you can be the caregiver you intend to be, and consider hiring Respite Care services to ease the burden on you a bit.
Making Promises You Might Not Be Able to Keep
We all want the best for our loved ones and it might feel easy to promise certain things like, “I’ll always take care of you instead of hiring someone” or “I promise you won’t have to leave your home.” Of course, you mean well and very well might mean every word of it at the time, but you never really know what is going to happen. Keep your options open and don’t back yourself into a corner.
Not Considering All of Your Options
There are numerous options when it comes to ensuring your loved one has the care she needs. It’s not just you caring for her or a nursing home.
Home care services are a great way to keep your loved one at home and they are available on an as-needed basis. You can hire a caregiver for a few hours a week or full-time or anywhere in between.
Adult day care is a wonderful addition to home care because it offers a stimulating and social environment whereas home care can feel isolating and lonely, plus it is less expensive.
Respite care is available for times when you will be away from your loved one, such as when you are taking a much-needed vacation.
Correcting People With Alzheimer’s
When someone has Alzheimer’s disease, it is natural to want to correct them when they say something wrong, but always reminding them that they are getting the facts wrong only confuses them even more, which then makes them even more upset. It’s okay to agree with them even if they are wrong.
Making Mistakes Involving Medication
There are a number of mistakes caregivers make in regards to medication:
Altering Pill Form – It may seem like it will make no difference to crush a pill to make it easier for your loved one to swallow, however doing so can change how some drugs are released. For example, many drugs are designed to disintegrate slowly in the body causing it to be released slowly throughout the day. Crushing those kinds of pills can cause your loved one to get too much at one time, so it is important to always consult with your physician or pharmacist first.
Sorting Medications Improperly – It is easy to sort medications into pill organizers improperly due to all of the different timings each medication has. Ask your pharmacist to sort them into pill organizers for you or to at least show you how to do it.
Storing Medications Improperly – Most people store medications in the kitchen or bathroom, but they are not the best locations because of temperature changes and moisture in the air. If medications say to store them in the refrigerator, be sure to do so. Otherwise, a cabinet in a bedroom is usually a good place.
Using Multiple Pharmacies – This can lead to potentially dangerous drug interactions because different pharmacies won’t be aware of other medications that were prescribed.