If you were to ask 100 people who are caring for an elderly loved one, few would probably consider themselves to be caregivers. It might not seem to matter all that much, but how you view yourself, what you think that you do, does matter. If you are caring for an elderly individual, then you are a caregiver.
Why Does this Matter?
When you think that you’re just tending to the needs of your mother or father, or other loved one, you aren’t apt to take the responsibilities as seriously as you might if you had a job doing something for a stranger. This doesn’t mean that you’re not going to care about what happens to your loved one, but that you are more apt to run late, to skip visiting with your loved one, or to not even have a schedule that you need to keep.
When you don’t consider yourself to be a caregiver, then you’re not as likely to focus on what is best for your loved one. You won’t research or try to learn about the best strategies to have in place. You won’t be focused on trying to be the best that you can be.
You’re main focus will likely be to ensure that your loved one is safe. That’s about it. But being someone who ensures safety and being a home care provider for an elderly individual are two completely different things. For the home care provider, safety is a major concern, but so is helping the elderly individual life a full and complete life.
There are so many things that your elderly loved one can still do, even though they may be limited by their physical or mental health.
As a professional caregiver, a person would be expected to arrive at the patient’s home at a certain time, not whenever it’s convenient or when they have time. Routine is important. It doesn’t matter whether your mother needs help getting out of bed in the morning or that your father needs help making meals in the evening. Consistency in the schedule means they will know when you’re going to be there.
Consider yourself to be a caregiver and you will begin to take the job more seriously. It is a job, whether you get paid for it or not, whether you realize it or not. The sooner you accept your role, the sooner you’ll be able to focus on finding the best way to be the ideal support for your loved one.