As a caregiver for an aging parent or loved one, it’s not unusual to feel compelled to put the needs of the person you’re caring for ahead of your own. While you may have the best intentions, neglecting your own care needs may not only threaten your health, but the quality of the care you provide. One way to change this way of thinking is to take time to identify personal barriers that may be keeping you from seeing your own needs on the same level as the person under your care.
Many family caregivers have the idea that their needs pale in comparison to what their loved ones are going through. Some caregivers may be seeking approval from their loved one, feeling as if they would let them down or lose their respect if they tended to some of their own needs while providing daily care. Additional caregiver misconceptions may include:
- Not feeling that anyone else could do a good job (“If I don’t do it, who else will?”)
- Believing that seeking outside help is wrong (“We take care of our own.”)
- A promise that was made to another loved one (“I promised dad I’d always take care of mom.”)
Taking time to care for yourself is more important than you may realize. Statistically, caregivers experience higher rates of depression, chronic illness, high blood pressure and weight gain. Caregivers, especially those with families of their own, typically deal with added emotional stress that’s coupled with a feeling of being pulled in multiple directions.
After identifying your own personal barriers to seeing your care as equally important, the next step is to make a conscious effort to do something about it, whether it be working with a reliable Oklahoma home care agency, creating a care schedule with other family members or taking breaks as necessary. The truth is that by taking care of yourself, you’re more likely to be in better condition to take care of your loved one.
For more information about caring for the caregiver or to find support services nearest you, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma at 405-285-4191. Along with flexible Oklahoma hourly care, we also provide live-in care, which can be great for family caregivers who need a break overnight or through the weekend. Reach out to us today and schedule a complimentary, in-home consultation with a friendly Care Manager – we’re here to help 24/7.