Caregiver.org reports more than 30 million Americans say they’ve provided unpaid care for an adult aged 50 or older within the past year. If this is something you do on a regular basis, knowing your own strengths allows you to identify and acknowledge what you do best for an older family member. You can then build on those strengths in a way that’s beneficial for both you and your senior loved one. Here are five ways to assess your own strong points as a family caregiver.
1. Determine What You Do Best
You’ll likely have a lot on your plate as a family caregiver. Still, there will be some things you’re especially good at. For instance, you might be a good listener, an efficient multitasker, or a keen observer of your loved one’s emotions and feelings.
Whatever it is you do well as a caregiver, give yourself some well-deserved credit. What you do best can also include personal qualities, such as being especially patient, resilient, optimistic, well-organized, or compassionate.
Most family caregivers can use a bit of help now and then. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality in-home care, Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Consider What Gives You Energy
What interactions with your loved one inspire you to create more of those moments? For some family caregivers, this could be sharing cherished memories with their loved ones through activities such as looking through photo albums, while others may be especially motivated by watching their parents become more socially engaged, involved, and active.
3. Think About What You Look Forward to Most
Sharing meals, playing games with your loved one, and going out together for neighborhood walks are just some of the many things you may look forward to most as a family caregiver. Whatever tops your list, take some extra time to treasure those meaningful moments with your loved one.
4. Reflect on What You Handle Well
Focus on the caregiving tasks you tend to handle well, which may not necessarily be things you enjoy doing in your role as a family caregiver. For example, you might be especially adept at defusing the situation when your loved one becomes agitated or moody.
From a practical point of view, understanding what you handle well can allow you to develop a more effective caregiver action plan. Knowing your strengths can give you a better idea of which situations you’re most capable of handling and when you’d likely need some assistance from other family members or a professional caregiver.
Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Fort Myers families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
5. Get Some Honest Feedback from Your Loved One
If you’re having a difficult time assessing your strengths as a family caregiver, ask your loved one for his or her opinion. No matter how humble you may be, it can make you feel good about yourself to know what your parent thinks you do well for him or her. And if your loved one does point out some shortcomings in the care you provide, consider it constructive criticism and determine if you can make appropriate adjustments.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Fort Myers Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call 239.449.4701 today.