COMMON CAREGIVING MISCONCEPTIONS
Dispelling Caregiving Myths
Caregiving is an emotional subject which is likely the reason so many myths surround it. This article focuses on dispelling some of these caregiving myths. It’s a must-read for anyone currently involved in caregiving including those who are considering hiring or perhaps even becoming a caregiver. Below are some common myths related to caregiving:
Caregiving is a negative experience
For some, this is true. There are a number of reasons why a caregiver/care receiver relationship doesn’t work out. However for the majority of people, caregiving is a rewarding experience. Caring for another is a wonderful way to feel important and it’s a way to make a positive difference in another’s life. A sense of companionship, mutual respect, and self-worth are some of the benefits caregivers receive. For many, caring for others fills a void in their lives.
Adult children no longer provide care for aging parents at home
While stories of adult children abandoning their aging parents make for interesting reading, this is just not true. What is true is that families live further apart from one another than ever before and that situation sometimes presents caregiving challenges. But adult children are not abandoning their parents. Advances in communication make it easy for adult children and aging parents to stay in regular contact and improvements in transportation make it easy to be together whenever necessary. With services such as Comfort Keepers available, quality care is easily available to those who require someone “on location” that can help with care.
Stress and excessive demands increase instances of elder abuse
Unfortunately this is true. However, it’s also true that excessive stress caused by any type of work can trigger unforeseen outbursts towards objects or others. Interestingly, instances of elder abuse at the hands of a caregiver are higher in families where there is a history of abuse or alcoholism. Aging parents feel guilt for the pain they caused their children in the past. Because of this, they find themselves accepting abusive treatment from other family members who are now in charge of their care.
Most caregivers have a plan in place before the need arises
Not true. If you don’t yet have a caregiving plan, you’re definitely not alone. Most adult children do not tackle this issue until they are forced, meaning it doesn’t usually happen until a parent becomes ill, starts showing signs of the onset of age-related conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or until one aging parent dies and the other has trouble resuming life after the death of his or her spouse.
Caregiver resources are insufficient
This is not true. Caregiver resources are fragmented and sometimes difficult to comprehend and even access. But they’re out there. New legislation regarding caregiving and care receiving is constantly being introduced and approved. Finding caregiving resources to which you are entitled takes patience and determination, but they’re far from insufficient.
Different cultures don’t require different approaches to caregiving
Definitely false. Cultural beliefs and differences will vary the approach to caregiving and they should not be ignored. Today’s elderly place more importance on culture than do their children therefore those providing care must be sensitive to the fact that cultural differences do exist.