None of us are perfect, and we cannot expect complete perfection from ourselves or anyone else. It is unrealistic and sets us or the other person up for failure and disappointment. All we can each do is our individual best. When it comes to caring for a loved one, we know you want to do your best. We thought you might find it helpful if we discussed some common mistakes that caregivers make. These are not mistakes made in the actual care of your loved one, but rather mistakes that are making your own life more challenging!
Overdoing It Physically
We know that you want to care for your senior loved one, but this can be physically difficult or even impossible. A common mistake that caregivers make is “overdoing it” physically and actually hurting themselves. If you are petite and weigh 110 pounds soaking wet, you cannot expect yourself to lift your father who is 240 pounds before he’s eaten anything for the day! Your body simply cannot sustain such strain. This can do particular damage to your back and shoulders. You need to get some in-home help or respite care to handle such tasks as lifting or moving your loved one while you can take care of other needs such as feeding them, cleaning their home, and running errands for them.
Burning the Candle at Both Ends
Another mistake that caregivers routinely make is what we refer to as “burning the candle at both ends.” There are only twenty-four hours in a day. You cannot expect yourself to care for your loved one for sixteen hours, take care of yourself and your own needs, and still try to squeeze in sleep. You will wear yourself out for certain. Nobody can thrive going full-speed without a break. You are only human! While others may view you as Wonder Woman or Superman, it is important to remember that you really do have to take the time to take care of yourself.
Not Asking for Help
The last common mistake we want to address is the fact that many caregivers never ask for or accept help. If neighbors or fellow church members offer to bring meals, accept the offer! If someone offers to mow the lawn, let them! If you have a friend who cleans houses and offers her services free of charge or for an affordable fee, say “yes!” And, if nobody is offering, then ask. You may be surprised at how willing people are to help once they know what your need is. We are social, communal beings who need one another. That is not a weakness. It is a part of being human since superpowers don’t actually exist.
Many people are afraid to seek the professional help of a home health care service. They are afraid they can’t afford it, so they don’t even make a phone call to ask. This is part of reaching out for help. At Champion Home Health of South Florida, we specialize in meeting the at-home needs of your loved one! We WANT to help you not physically hurt yourself, not burn the candle at both ends, and learn to ask for help. It’s what we do! If your loved one who needs senior care lives in North Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, or Boca Raton, then please call us. You may be surprised to learn that most or all of the cost may be covered by your loved one’s health insurance. Please give us a call today. We know we can help!