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5 Unexpected Challenges When Becoming a Family Caregiver

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The decision to become a family caregiver is often arrived at after careful thought and consideration. While you might have tried to examine the situation from every possible angle, it’s possible to overlook issues that affect you and your loved one’s happiness over time. As you step into your new role, consider these five unexpected challenges you may face so you can make plans now to overcome them. 

1. Adjusting to Changing Roles 

In the typical family caregiving relationship, an adult child cares for his or her aging parent. While you may be happy to be able to return the love your parent has shown you over the years, you might not be prepared for how things change when you take over his or her care. In some instances, the changing roles might even cause your loved one to become resistant to hearing your advice. When this happens, remember to take a break and be patient with your loved one. If necessary, ask someone to step in to take care of specific tasks that challenge your accepted roles in the relationship. 

Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated home care, Birmingham, AL, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

2. Hearing Criticism from Others 

Your decision to be a family caregiver is noble, and you are likely the best candidate for the job. However, it may also seem as though everyone has an opinion about how you should provide care to your loved one. While most people mean well, hearing criticism of your efforts may hurt. Remind yourself of all of the things you do well so negativity has less of an effect on your wellbeing. 

3. Managing Scheduling Conflicts 

You had a life before you became a family caregiver, and you still have many of those responsibilities to take care of on top of your new duties. Whether you need to drop the kids off at school before you head to your loved one’s house or you have an important meeting at work that interferes with preparing dinner, you need to have a backup plan in place to manage scheduling conflicts. Have a professional caregiver available who can step in when you need assistance. 

If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Birmingham Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.

4. Feeling Negative Emotions 

Caregivers sometimes expect to enjoy every aspect of their job. However, you can expect to occasionally feel negative emotions that seemingly arise out of nowhere. For instance, you may feel a sudden pang of guilt if you get upset with your loved one. Alternatively, you may grieve the relationship you have lost now that everything has changed. While a fleeting moment of negativity is normal, you need to reach out to others for help if you notice these feelings carry on through the majority of the day. 

5. Finding Time for Yourself 

Although you knew you would have less time to relax during your downtime, you might not have realized how difficult it would be to take care of your basic needs. Caregivers are more likely to skip necessary medical care that helps them continue to perform their role. Watch out for upcoming appointments, and arrange for respite care so you can continue to take care of your health.

Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you are caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Birmingham families who want to avoid burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at (205) 438-6925 to schedule a free consultation.