Refuse to ask for help–Caregivers tend to get frustrated that other family members and close friends are not chipping in as they should. Instead of reaching out, they often adopt the attitued, “if I want it done right, I’ll have to do it myself.” This is not good for anyone, the caregiver, the family or the one who needs the care.
Play martyr–Martyrdom is noble and had, maybe even still has its place in society. However, your loved one needs you alive not sacrificing your own health and overall well being, in order to give care.
Grieve alone–Caregivers are people who get things done. Taking time to share their feelings with others is rarely on the top of the “to do” list. However, it is very important to not only allow yourself to feel your feelings, but also to share them in a safe and non-judgemental environment.
Fail to nurture relationships–Caregiving is consuming at times, and caregivers tend to become so wraped up in the job at hand that they don’t take the time to feed and nurture relationships with other family members and good friends.
Ignore spouse/significant others–I made a distinction because those who are closest to caregivers may suffer the most. It’s hard to think about working to keep the flames of marriage going when you are concerned about your loved one 24/7. Yet, nurturing a relationship on one hand may give you a moment of peace on another to help you as you battle Alzheimer’s disease.
Act reactively instead of proactively–It is so important to know what’s coming in terms of the disease. Not just to know, but to know and understand how those stages will impact your level of care. Please see my series of posts on the Stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The role of the caregiver changes significantly as the illness progresses.
Fail to plan–I’ve said it before, “If yo fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” Alzheimer’s care facility, standard long term care facility, in home care provided by family and friends, in home care supplemented by an agency, these are all options that should be carefully considered and not at the last minute when waiting lists and ease of admission may come to bear more heavily on the decision than they should.
Take life too seriously—Caregiving is very serious (and sometimes depressing) business. But, it takes much more energy to frown than it does to smile. So, laugh, read something funny or watch something funny. You are still alive and you can ENJOY life.
What do you think? What did you do wrong? What’s your blunder? Maybe you got something right. Tell us about it, leave a comment