The caregiving process is full of pitfalls. It requires navigating through a virtual maze…learning about Medicare, Medicaid, legal documents, diseases, doctors, and programs. Managing caregivers and appointments…the list is never ending. All of this occurs under emotional circumstances. It’s hard to see your parent decline. They don’t want to face change. Relationships can be strained.
Let us help you navigate past some of the most common pitfalls.
Common Caregiving Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)
#1 DIY Caregiving
This common caregiving mistake comes from the best intentions. You’re determined to learn about all this stuff. You’re a dedicated child who will care for Mom and Dad. You’ll just quit your job or move in with them. You promise them you’ll do it all for them, and NEVER “let them go into a nursing home”.
Should a business owner try to do everything himself? Handle the legal, accounting, marketing, sales, HR, and every other function with no outside expertise? Even the leanest startup knows when to call upon others for consultation. Your parent isn’t a business transaction, but you’re simply inefficient when you try to do it all yourself. You’re also a lot more likely to burnout. And, you may sacrifice relationships along the way.
What to do instead: You can do the BEST job providing care by calling upon experts for assistance. Set up a care management consultation early in the process. Shortcut the learning curve. Get some help with a few tasks: housekeeping, personal care, or driving to appointments. This will free you up to handle the most important things. Spend precious time being the son or daughter, without resentment.
#2 Expectations without Guidance
You decide to hire caregivers (or any service). You’re disappointed they don’t do things as you’d expect. If you don’t provide any guidance, it’s hard to get what you want. Providers can’t read your mind. They don’t know what you prefer or your pet peeves. Some family members want detailed feedback, some only want to know when things go wrong. One client likes to read quietly and gets annoyed if the caregiver chats. The next client may feel the caregiver is cold when she doesn’t make conversation.
What to do instead: Take an active role in setting expectations. EasyLiving helps our clients do this by providing a Life History and Routines Questionnaire. This guides our care plan. Then, our supervisor attends the first meeting to ensure things go smoothly. Families should consider attending this too. It’s a great way to build the relationship from day one. Next, our managers follow up with both the caregiver and client. All of these steps set the caregiver up to exceed your expectations.
Key resource: How to Win Friends and Influence Your Caregiver
#3 Failure to Plan
Families often avoid the touchy subjects. Without a plan, aging becomes crisis-driven. You end up with fewer choices.
What to do instead: Talk early and often. It’s much easier to open conversations when it’s not urgent. Bring in help from other family members, a trusted advisor, or care manager if you find it tough. A comprehensive assessment will give you the full picture. You can understand what steps to take today to prevent a crisis.
Key resource: The Essential Aging Wisely Checklist
#4 Costing Yourself in an Attempt to Save
You have a brilliant idea. Mom can hire a college student to help in exchange for room and board. Money-saving caregiving ideas often end up costing you. To understand just how, read The Little Mistake That Can Cost You $1000.
What to do instead: Understand what you don’t know. Talk through your ideas. Learn about true costs, assistance programs, regulations and more. When you have the whole picture, you better understand what different options really cost.
Key resource: Florida home care regulations/options (If you fear you or your parent have already made a mistake with their caregiver choice, here are some resources that might help.)
Contact us online or at 727-447-5845 for help today.