When you are a caregiver, employed or related, there are a lot of responsibilities. Whether you’re caring for someone disabled by a traumatic medical event or genetics, the job can be very rewarding and stressful at the same time. But you may be able to reduce some of the stress that comes with the role by avoiding these 5 things.
1. Keep Your Charge Out of the Loop
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No one should feel like they are cut out of their own life. It is important that you allow your client or family member to be part of the decision-making as it relates to their care. If their condition prevents them from making decisions, you can talk to them about what will be happening and allow them space and time to voice their concerns.
2. Never Shame Your Charge
Sure, caregivers feel frustration and anger at having to do some things but making your client or loved one ashamed is out of the question. When you have to do something unpleasant don’t show it outwardly. Caretakers have to do some of the most intimate tasks for their charges, things your client probably wishes they could do for themselves.
3. Ignore Your Charge
Human beings need social interaction. It helps to be engaged and attentive. Not only does being attentive give your client or family member the feeling that they are important, worthy and matter, it also can prevent avoidable accidents from happening. Keeping your head buried in your phone, computer or tablet can create a very unpleasant atmosphere. You may find that the person you are caring for is more pleasant, alert, and happy. You can also take the advice of others from the caregiver forum if you need any help.
4. Take Things Personally
Being a caregiver can be really difficult sometimes. Depending on the needs and temperament of your charge, you may be subjected to insults, bad behavior, and other unpleasantries. If this is true for you, try to remember not to take it personally. Remember that what they are going through isn’t easy for them. They are in their condition day in and day out. And even if your client or loved one is purposely trying to hurt your feelings, it helps to keep things in perspective.
5. Be Impatient
You absolutely must pack your patience when you’re a caregiver. When you are able-bodied or of sound mind, you have the ability to do things more quickly, more easily, and maybe even more thoroughly. If your loved one or client is taking more time on a task than you would like, find other ways to fill that space. You can hum a song you both enjoy, you can talk to them or you can just wait patiently. It is okay to offer help, but if they decline, you need to be okay with that (within reason).
Watch the video of Phyllis Peters about caregivers:
So being a caregiver isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes strength, patience, and kindness. But there are some things that have no place in caretaking. Striking a balance is key. Respecting yourself and your client or loved one will help you to make the most and the best of your role.