Caregiving has definitely been a personal and filial matter that has embraced many people and families around the world. In every community, a family in harmonious relationships exists. However, alongside, there are also families broken down by troubles of health deterioration. No matter how much we deny it, nowadays, people tend to rely more on technology for easy living. More and more families live their lives with comfort because of a better access to their needs and wants.
Nevertheless, this same technology that gives comfort to humanity brings as well the dangers to our lives. “Most people will become caregivers – or need one – at some point in their lives” (“Family”, n. d. ). Probably the best type of caregiving starts within the family. It is quite important that, more often than not, the children must take time to attend to the needs of their aging parents. “Being a caregiver involves an investment in time, energy and support” (“End of”, n. d. ).
However, caregiving is not as easy as it sounds. Individuals needing caregiving may experience some behavioral problems that can cause frustration and anger for caregivers. There may be a couple of difficulties dealing with people who are fully dependent on caregivers for daily survival. These include communication problems, behavioral predicaments, lack of motivation, unsound judgment, perseveration, and the like. And all these may prove to be either a challenge for a caregiver, or enough reason to lose patience.
Truly, these problems may actually provide a hindrance to better caregiving to elderly people. Due to these aggravating reasons, caregivers or family members experience ‘caregiving stress’. The Texas Cooperative Extension (2006) suggests some strategies “to help control the destructive effects of caregiving stress: (1) Set realistic goals and expectations; (2) Establish your limits; (3) Ask for and accept help: (4) Take care of yourself; and (5) Involve other people (“Texas”, 2006, p. 3-4).
It would always be advisable to plan or set realistic or achievable objectives for caregiving. Establishing limits, or sometimes going beyond it if necessary, helps maintain one’s responsibilities and self-control. Seeking help from other people may also prove to provide quality caregiving. Refusing help is not a sign of inadequacy; rather it is more of acceptance and openness. Assuring one’s own health is as important as taking care of another’s. This involves taking time for the self, understanding own emotions, and expressing feelings.
Lastly, caregiving is not simply a matter between the elderly and the caregiver, but more of a family concern. Hold other members of the family responsible. Have them involved. Of these strategies, I realized all others would quite useless without the fifth presented strategy. Simply, for me, it means communication is appropriate in caregiving. Good communication and openness to family members may actually help us all avoid disagreements and struggles. As for me, it is hard to see a loved one getting weaker as they get older.
Therefore, caregiving may be difficult to talk about openly. But one has to understand that every one will come to that point when caregiving is the only option left for them to survive and feel loved. Luckily, both my parents are healthy, despite the fact that I see them getting older year by year. Before, it is quite hard for me to even think about them getting really sick, not because I have to think of the hardships of caregiving as well, but because it is in itself hard to see people dear to you nearing death because of age or of diseases.
Now, I started to realize how important it is to prepare for this time, even at an early age. In case something bad happens to them, but hopefully none, we are all prepared. I now have the idea or knowledge of what to do and how to cope if ever problems regarding caregiving of family members or other people arise. Furthermore, it would prove to be an achievement for me, and an expression of love for my family if I am able to accomplish all these.
References End of Life Caregiving. (n. d. ).Retrieved February 24, 2008, from http://www. webmd. com/mental-health/end-of-life-caregiving-medref. Family Caregiver Alliance. (n. d. ). Caregiving: A Universal Occupation. Retrieved February 24, 2008, from http://www. caregiver. org/caregiver/jsp/content_node. jsp? nodeid=392. Texas Cooperative Extension. (2006). Coping with Caregiving: How to Manage Stress when Caring for Elderly Relatives. Retrieved February 24, 2008, from http://fcs. tamu. edu/families/aging/elder_care/coping-with-caregiving-handbook. pdf.
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