Do you ever find yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself as a caregiver? Experts call this kind of thinking “negative self-talk.” Engaging in negative self-talk can affect the health of caregivers because it has been associated with higher levels of stress. It also decreases self-esteem and can limit you. Below are 4 examples of negative self-talk that caregivers should never tell themselves.
#1: I’m not doing enough.
Even though many caregivers work a full-time job, are raising kids, and spend every spare moment with their aging relative, they still think they should be doing more. No one should expect you to do everything, and neither should you. You need to have time to take care of yourself and do things you enjoy. If you truly believe that some of your family member’s needs are not being met because of time constraints, ask family members for help or hire home care to assist.
#2: My family member is getting sicker, so I must be doing something wrong.
In some cases, it is possible for an older adult’s health to improve because of the assistance they receive from a family caregiver. However, it’s not realistic to think that can last in the long-term. Age takes a toll and their health will eventually decline no matter what you do. This is especially true if the senior has a progressive disease, like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
#3: I should have made a better choice.
No one can predict the future, so when you made a decision, you did not know what the future would hold. You made the best decision you could at the time with the information available to you. Don’t berate yourself. Though you have nothing to be sorry for, you can avoid feeling this way again by learning everything you can about the older adult’s health condition or situation so that you know you’re as informed as you could possibly be.
#4: I will never be able to…
When you repeatedly tell yourself that you can’t do something, you’ll probably talk yourself into believing it. That means you may never even try. You probably never expected to be able to take care of an older adult, but here you are doing it. If you can take on that responsibility, who knows what else you can do. The next time you find yourself saying “I can’t” stop yourself and say, “I will try.” You may not get whatever it is right on the first try, but you’ll learn from the experience and do better the next time.
If you are considering caregivers in Westlake, OH, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Four Seasons Home Care today: (440) 716-9100.