Being the family caregiver is highly challenging. Juggling the demands of work, home life, and caring for an elderly loved one can be too much for some caregivers. As a result, they may often be too busy to provide the needed care for their loved ones. Family caregivers need to ask themselves as they struggle with the challenges of family eldercare: Whose needs are most important? Are we too busy to provide good family caregiver/elderly loved one care?
Signs that a family caregiver might be too busy and not spending enough time with their elderly loved one include:
- The elder is not getting enough attention.
- The caregiver is always in a rush and does not have time for the elder.
- The elder feels ignored or forgotten.
- The caregiver is irritable and impatient with the elder.
- The elder has stopped sharing their thoughts and feelings with the family caregiver.
The family caregiver is not providing the elder with the assistance they need with activities of daily living. Sure, these might seem like obvious, basic things – but it is essential to take a step back every once in a while, and ask about those obvious, basic things.
If you are a family caregiver feeling overwhelmed and too busy to provide good care for your elderly loved one – first, take a step back and evaluate your situation. It’s crucial to not “set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.” If you’re making yourself sick, you can’t keep anyone else well in the long term. Can you delegate some caregiving tasks to other family members or friends? Are there any community services that can help with some of the care needs? Are there specific tasks or daily duties that are more stressful?
Many family caregivers are reluctant to allow another person to care for their loved ones. They’ve promised they’d never “put grandma in a facility.” However, one doesn’t have to step straight to a nursing home. There are home health agencies, adult daycares, or assisted living facilities. These services offer a range of support for your loved one. It might be challenging to decide to place a loved one in a long-term care facility, but it is often the best thing for them. The family caregiver can then continue visiting and spending time with their elderly loved one as often as possible.
The family caregiver is an essential part of the family’s eldercare team. Unfortunately, this can harm family relations, especially if the family caregiver starts feeling resentful about their situation. By taking some time to assess their situation and considering other family caregiver options, family caregivers can take steps to improve family dynamics. As a parting thought, it can be beneficial to retain the services of a care manager or a gerontologist – they can help get this sort of “life/work” balance in hand.
Dr Liz Geriatrics
Are you caring for a senior that would benefit from telehealth? Dr Liz Geriatrics can help. Our goal is to work with patients, caregivers, and doctors to develop a care plan. We specialize in telehealth for elder care and incorporate it into our care plans. If you need assistance, contact us today at 650-357-8834 x1.