Caregiving for a vulnerable senior is a long-term commitment, one that not everyone is willing or able to enter into. Due to any number of causes, an adult child or other relative may not serve as a primary caregiver. The reluctance, however, in no way means abandonment or indifference.
What are examples of personality mismatches?
An individual’s personality influences his or her inclination to become a caregiver for an elderly loved one. The most successful caregivers are people who display extroverted tendencies and seek out social interactions. They also have an innate ability to bring out the best in other people.
Cooperative and conscientious, the best caregivers are those with deep wells of compassion, empathy and understanding. While being sympathetic, efficient caregivers naturally tend to seek out practical and sensitive solutions to everyday problems. These caregivers are disciplined and carry out tasks accurately.
People who assume the duties of a caregiver may not have a personality that well fits the role. Those who must remain in control at all times will have difficulty being a caregiver. The endless responsibilities of caregiving will exhaust those who thrive in being in control.
Those with perfectionist personalities also struggle with caregiving. The many aspects of caregiving will not always go as planned. Despite providing optimal care, a care recipient’s health may worsen unexpectedly. During the course of caregiving, a perfectionist will be constantly disappointed.
While personality plays a big role in an individual’s compatibility with being a caregiver, anyone can learn to adjust. It is important to work around problems. A person who needs to be in control should learn to delegate tasks. Similarly, a perfectionist must learn that mistakes are expected.
What are types of career conflicts?
Parents may have long encouraged their adult children to pursue ambitious careers. Success is rewarding for the adult child and parents alike. But remaining committed to a career reduces the time and energy necessary to provide caregiving services. Leaving a job is rarely a temporary solution.
Caregiving while working can have significant, adverse effects on the employee’s career. Sick days decrease as employees use them up. Work performance suffers. Caregiving employees are more likely to have attendance issues, be passed up for promotions or be fired.
Career-minded people who fear difficulty re-entering the workforce once caregiving ends, losing job skills as they grow stale or experiencing a decrease in retirement savings and a loss of social security benefits are poor candidates for the time-consuming responsibility of caregiving.
Additionally, working men and women enjoy the camaraderie of the workplace, from lunches with team members to chats at the water cooler. Being a fulltime caregiver robs an individual of satisfying, professional social interactions. Caregiving is undoubtedly a lonely and isolating job.
It is not uncommon for family members to jump at the chance to be a caregiver for a vulnerable senior. Sadly, these same individuals are the first to burn out or begin to feel resentment for the parent’s neediness. Some caregivers wake up each morning not wanting to continue caregiving.
Resentment is a negative emotion that can reveal itself in body language or tone of voice. In extreme cases, resentment can take a downward spiral and transform into elder abuse. Plus, loneliness, physical and emotional pain and financial strain make caregiving a burden rather than a joy.
What are long-term solutions?
Such individuals are simply not cut out for caregiving. Family members who accept the fact that caregiving may not be for them can still provide indirect care to an aging loved one. Relatives may provide an optimum level of care without being 100 percent responsible for meeting all needs.
Adult children, for example, will often visit elderly parents. Family members will arrange for alternate sources of care, such as hiring professional caregivers from a licensed home care agency. Adult children will handle financial matters and monitor the senior’s well-being from afar.
It is important that family members take an honest look at their capabilities, natural tendencies and career goals when considering serving as an elderly loved one’s caregiver. Being a caregiver is rarely a short-term commitment, but one that can last for months or years.
Those who recognize their inability to be an effectual caregiver are urged to consult other resources. Elder care professionals, close friends and nearby family are more likely to be willing to assume caregiving responsibilities—especially if they have a compatible personality, willingness, and ability.
Complete, hands-on involvement is not necessary to show care toward a needy senior. An adult child may be better at serving as an advocate, organizer, or supervisor of care. In such instances, delegating caregiving tasks to willing participants is the most practical, ideal, and long-term solution.
These individuals may show their love for an elderly parent by arranging care with a professional caregiver or other source of support. Guilt may be a natural but unnecessary feeling. As mentioned, there are many ways an adult child can care for an aging person.
The most compassionate route a family member may take is choosing Assisting Hands Home Care to provide elder care services in the comfort of the senior’s home. We send professional, qualified, and trained caregivers to provide assistance with a range of everyday tasks.
Our team of caregivers are experienced in supporting elderly individuals with the activities of daily living (including personal hygiene, dressing, grooming and toileting), meal preparation, transportation, light housekeeping, grocery shopping and mobility. We are also excellent companions to seniors, preventing social isolation and loneliness.
Assisting Hands Home Care offers comprehensive nonmedical elder care. Our flexible care options include 24-hour home care, live-in care, hospice care, post-surgical care, companion care and respite care. Respite care is especially useful for family caregivers who need breaks at regular intervals.
Family members who realize caregiving is not for them are encouraged to consult Assisting Hands Home Care. Our dedicated professionals are experienced in serving the elderly. Our home care agency supports seniors living in North and Central Palm Beach County, Florida. Call us for a complimentary in-home consultation.
Sources: https://www.agingcare.com, https://www.seniorsmatter.com/