When you agree to become a caregiver for an elderly loved one, it’s most likely an act of compassion that motivates you. You want to make sure that your loved one has the right level of support, and you don’t like the idea of hiring a stranger to come into your loved one’s home. Maybe your elderly loved one refused to even consider that idea, which left you with almost no choice.
Whether you are a willing caregiver or someone who felt obligated because of the familial relationship, it’s a good idea to understand just what this working relationship could do to your personal relationship.
There are many examples of home care providers who were family members of the patient who got along great. They didn’t have any real problems and the patient and caregiver alike were well equipped to handle every situation that arose in a calm, respectful, and dignified manner.
While there are plenty of examples of this, there are just as many examples of family caregivers who fell into problems with the elderly patient. This could be due to a number of reasons, but when there are problems, and they are not addressed calmly and rationally, that can lead to damage within the relationship itself.
Most family caregivers are adult children caring for aging parents.
The majority of family home care providers are actually adult children, usually in their 40s, 50s, or 60s who are taking care of their aging parents. Throughout childhood, there were likely plenty of moments of tension and plenty of problems that arose. Maybe these underlying problems were never really addressed, or they created a bit of tension between the two.
When that happens, or if the one of the two (the elderly patient or family caregiver) is headstrong or believes that their way of doing things is right, then it can cause tension within the working relationship.
Ultimately, that is what this is, a working relationship. If you don’t believe that you would work well with your aging loved one, then instead of potentially causing more harm, or any harm, to the relationship that you have with them, it’s best to consider hiring outside home care providers.
If your loved one refuses to consider this option, talk about expectations and establish ground rules in the event that there are problems between you two. Being a caregiver may be important, but you need to decide if it’s more important than keeping a healthy relationship with the elderly individual.