Myths and Fears about Caregiving: Day 13 of 30 Day Family Caregiving Series

Myths and Fears about Care: Day 13 of 30 Day Family Caregiver Series

During this family caregiver series, we’ve been exploring various issues associated with family care giving. In my last two posts, I discussed ways you can be your own advocate and why this is important. Today, we uncover the myths and fears about needing care. Many of my clients are concerned about how decisions will impact them from a financial, emotional, physical and spiritual perspective.  This post sets the stage and the remaining 5 posts in this section will address each of these issues in more detail.

Myths and fears about giving care

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  • Care giving equals stress. It’s absolutely true care giving can be stressful, this isn’t the entire experience; or at least it doesn’t have to be. You can use this experience as an opportunity to get closer with  your loved one and do activities together that help bring about love and peace. While your job isn’t to make your loved one happy, it’s natural to want them to be as happy and comfortable as possible.  Just remember that you aren’t responsible for their happiness and care giving can be rewarding.

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  • Your job is to let them do what they want; after all they are adults too. There is no question that the changing roles of family members is tough when care giving comes into play. When I became a caregiver, in many ways, I was a parent for my parents. This isn’t easy for anyone. Being careful about the changing roles is prudent. However, this doesn’t mean letting them do what they want when they want if it is to the detriment of their health and safety.

 

  • Love is all you need. Love is needed (or at least desired for mutual benefit) but it’s not the end all. Much more is required than love to make care giving work, to keep your loved one safe, to help provide the best care and so on. Love may see you through but you need a lot more than love to get there.

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  • The professional medical community will take care of all his/her needs.  Our care doesn’t stop with deciding where to place a loved one or filling their medications every week or taking them to the occasional doctor’s appointment.  Remember that nobody cares more about your loved one’s quality of care than you and your loved one. Coming in a close second is the medical community. Remember, you must be an active advocate and work together with doctors to make it work smoothly.

 

  • Money is no object. Insurance will pay for everything. We’d all like to think that we would do anything to take care of a loved one; such as change homes to ensure accessibility, putting them in the best place possible, etc… Be very careful about the financial implications of giving care. I spent my savings taking care of my family during my care giving years and it took its toll on all levels. Plan ahead and be thoughtful about your options.  Regarding insurance~ make sure you keep tabs on what is paid for and covered and what isn’t. This is important because insurance does NOT always pay for everything and you must be diligent (preferably ahead of time, if possible) in ensuring insurance is on top of things.

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  • You can take care of you later.  Your job is to provide care and take care of all of their needs regardless of impact on you.  FALSE! This isn’t how it is supposed to be and your loved one would NOT want you to sacrifice your well-being for any reason.  Giving all of yourself to the detriment of your health doesn’t prove anything to anyone. You must exercise self-care. You can’t take care of anyone else when you aren’t taking care of yourself.

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Remember that there are no right or wrong answers and every situation is different. Keep these things in mind as  you journey through care giving and, I hope, you learned at least one useful thing you can take away from this article.

 

Next up ~ Part 6:  5 ways you must keep your loved ones safe

 

  1. Balancing independence and safety (Day 14)
  2. Physical safety (Day 15)
  3. Financial safety (Day 16)
  4. Emotional safety (Day 17)
  5. Spiritual safety  (Day 18)
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Tandy Elisala

Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness
Tandy Elisala is passionate about bringing hope and wholehearted living to people going through cancer and their caregivers. Tandy went through cancer four times and learned how to heal using conventional, complementary, and alternative therapy. She left her 23-year corporate career to take care of both parents simultaneously for 2 ½ years. She now teaches what she learned on her journey and how to thrive during and after cancer using the true sources of health and healing: hope and mindset, spiritual connection, relationships, alignment and mind, body healing. Tandy is a multiple best-selling author, radio show host, mother of three grown kids and her precious dog, Roxy. Learn more about Tandy at www.tandyelisala.com.

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7 replies
  1. Oly Trinity
    Oly Trinity says:

    wow, what a great post! i really can relate to this since i was a family caregiver once in my young life. my mom had a stroke and i quit my job and retired early so that i can visit her at the nursing home everyday, rain or shine. later on she developed dementia in her late 80’s. she remembers everything that happened years ago but can’t recall any that happened recently. we have good health care coverage here in canada so we didn’t have to worry about that part.
    my mom and i were close and became best friends in her last few years in life. she’s gone now but we have great memories to keep in our hearts. i was broken hearted when she passed away but knowing that her suffering was finally over, it was a relief. now, i still visit her sometimes and bring flowers to her grave and i miss her so much. ty for this post, Tandy.
    Oly Trinity recently posted…My Day 3: London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Opens!My Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Oly, thank you so much for visiting and sharing your family caregiving experience. Your mom was so fortunate to have you there with her every day. I, too, quite my career to care for both of my parents and I wouldn’t have it any other way! What a blessing you received from the incredible care you showed her and the tremendous peace you provided. I’m sure she is looking down beaming with pride, Oly.

      Reply
  2. Divah Dee
    Divah Dee says:

    This is a very informative post. I know a few care-givers who would receive much comfort, support, and affirmation from reading this. You are doing a great – and much needed – service by sharing your knowledge…..thanks!

    Reply
  3. Stephanie Calahan
    Stephanie Calahan says:

    “Our care doesn’t stop with deciding where to place a loved one or filling their medications every week or taking them to the occasional doctor’s appointment. Remember that nobody cares more about your loved one’s quality of care than you and your loved one. Coming in a close second is the medical community. Remember, you must be an active advocate and work together with doctors to make it work smoothly.”

    I could not agree more. When my husband had a heart attack a number of years ago, I am so glad that I stayed by his side. There were a few doctors that kept trying to give him medication that he had responded poorly to in the past.
    Stephanie Calahan recently posted…Are You Opening Your Site to Hackers and Don’t Even Know It?My Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Thanks Stephanie! Thanks for confirming that it takes both our loved ones (or us) *and* the medical community to make it all work. Thank goodness you were there by your husband’s side (of course you would be!) and ensuring nothing went in his body that wasn’t good for him.

      Reply

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