Have you ever wondered how difficult it is to care for an elderly family member? Why is it so ? Is it the older adult? Is it the caregiver ? or is it the society at large? Or the family, extended family ?
Caregiving is not easy, it can be intimidating often due to restraints, constraints, lack of faith posed by the older adult’s family, community etc.
How then do we help the caregivers? Over the decades, hearing and listening to caregivers, caring spouses, partners, friends, family, society, community…I found out how similar were the issues, how truly everyone wanted to care for our elderly and how almost all found it as their calling…
So leaning back into those times, here are some difficulties in caring for an elderly from a caregiver’s view…
- Introduction to a family and elderly needing care must be complete and thorough
- Navigating a home environment vs a senior living community is not the same
- Wishing everything is in place before hiring a caregiver, includes solving family feuds etc
- Putting the older adult at the center instead of putting personal preferences upfront
- Planning with reality not dreams, for the current is the best place to start with rather than look back or look for future…
- Having clear goals, vision, is critical in the health and wellbeing of an elderly
- Understanding caregiver crisis and need for breaks to rejuvenate
- Preventing incomplete tasks and going with the flow and not delaying tasks, appointments, visits
- Some amount of freedom to think and work with creativity for lack of flexibility is more detrimental to the elderly and the caregiver
- Approaching all things with positivity and proactively rather than taking it negatively
- Trusting the relationship is special and in no means a threat to the bond between an elderly and their real family
- Persisting in the journey and not giving up quickly, asking for instant results
These salient points are worth noting, and of course they do change as the older adult declines cognitively or physically further… However the real reason for caregiving is giving back and not just for receiving or being noticed. For most caregivers it means a way of livelihood but for most it is also a journey into their own life’s simple pleasures. Caregiving is mihygge and a way of cozy living for oneself and for the other.
We welcome any comments, feedbacks and ideas , please as always feel free to share, we are all together to inspire, enrich and create mihygge for all. Thank you