What to Tell Yourself Instead of “I Should Have Known” as a Caregiver
If you’ve ever told yourself that you “should have known much better” in a brand-new situation, you’re probably creating more problems for yourself as a caregiver than you realize. You can’t know it all, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to know it all. Caring for another person is a really tough job!
You’re Being Too Hard on Yourself
When you tell yourself that you should have known how to handle every situation or known every detail, you’re expecting way too much from yourself. Chances are extremely good that this is a brand new experience for you. There is no way at all that you could know everything that you need to know as a caregiver.
You Know What You Know
As a caregiver, you come into the situation with what you know. You learn along the way and you develop access to resources that help you to learn more. There’s no way at all that you can use or access resources or tools you don’t even know about. That’s expecting the impossible.
Increase Your Knowledge Base
One of the best ways you can learn more is to keep your mind open, to ask questions, and to study as much as you can. When you take your senior to the doctor, ask questions when you don’t understand something. If you need help with a specific issue, ask about resources, agencies, or information that can help you to do what needs to be done. Consider getting some help from a home care agency like Butters Home Health Care in Herndon VA. Learn from professional caregivers as they help care for your aging loved-one.
Join a Support Group
Support groups are often underutilized because many caregivers worry that they’re a waste of time. What you may not realize is that support groups can be your best source of information as a caregiver. You meet other caregivers who have been exactly where you are. They can help you to find the issues and problems before you know they’re even there.
Be Gentle with Yourself
Above all, you need to start being gentle with yourself. This isn’t about giving yourself a free pass. It’s about treating yourself with gentle respect and giving yourself space to learn and to grow. You’d be amazed at how much more quickly you can learn about being a caregiver when you’re being nice to yourself.
If you’re still having trouble with expecting too much from yourself, you might need some more help with caregiving. Hiring home care providers is a great way to learn more about caregiving and ensure that your senior is in good hands. You might also want to talk to someone that you trust, like a counselor or your doctor, about ways to be kinder to yourself.