“I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much.”
-- Mother Teresa
As a caregiver, do you often feel lacking in your abilities to care for your elderly parents or perhaps your spouse? Is it any wonder caregivers, especially those caring for family members, feel totally unprepared for this daunting task? When family members are unexpectedly thrust into the role of caregiving, it can be overwhelming as they attempt to handle a multitude of unfamiliar tasks. At a recent conference of the American Society on Aging a speaker candidly stated, “You have nine months to prepare to become a parent, but only nine seconds to become a caregiver.”
While some people are perhaps born with a natural instinct to be caregivers, that isn’t necessarily the case for the majority of people. For instance, learning and managing how to transfer someone from a wheelchair to a car or wheelchair to a toilet can be a daunting task and is something that can intimidate the novice caregiver. Not feeling confident in being able to accomplish what others appear to do seamlessly can cause frustration and a lack of confidence in the ability to care for loved ones.
Being responsible for the health and well-being of an aging loved one also means more than accomplishing the physical tasks; it also includes making the kind of day to day assessments that could affect the rest of their lives. Learning about the importance of making end of life decisions or if it is time for entering hospice are some of the many intimidating choices faced by caregivers every day.
mmLearn.org provides over 200 free on-demand videos to train and educate caregivers of older adults. Topics range from the practicalities of transferring someone from a wheelchair to learning about depression or alcoholism in the elderly. Caregiving is not something you can always do on your own; trusting your caregiver instincts may be a matter of balancing them with the latest and most reliable information related to your particular situation.