Family caregivers are unbelievably hard on themselves. You’re dealing with a difficult situation, so perfection is not a goal that you need to strive for, yet that happens way too often. Here’s how to assess your own success as a family caregiver.
Look at What You’re Expecting of Yourself
As a family caregiver, you probably expect way more from yourself and from your abilities than you expect from anyone else. You’re always looking for ways to do more, to do those things better, and to just overall be better than the best caregiver ever. Then reality sets in and you have to work within the bounds of what is physically, mentally, and emotionally possible. You might even start to feel dejected because you’re not able to live up to those high expectations of yourself.
Look at How You’re Feeling
Another factor to consider is how you’re feeling. Are you taking care of yourself? Are you sleeping well, eating well, and moving your body as often as you can? If you’re not, you’re setting yourself up for hard times as a family caregiver. You have to take care of yourself if you’re planning on being any sort of caregiver to someone else.
You’re Not Competing with Anyone
The bottom line when you’re asking yourself how successful you are as a family caregiver is that you’re not in competition with anyone at all. You must focus simply on being the best caregiver that you can be at any given moment in time. Some situations will see you having to step back in your caregiving journey and that doesn’t mean a thing about your success or failure as a caregiver.
Adapt to Your Situation
One of the best ways that you can determine for yourself whether you’re being a successful family caregiver or not is to look at how well you’re able to adapt to changing situations. If, for example, your elderly loved one needs more care while you’re at work, you might adapt to that by hiring home care providers. Some caregivers might see that as a failure in caregiving because they’re not taking care of that need personally. But you’ve found a solution that allows you to continue taking care of all of the various needs in your life.
Once you define what success is for your situation, you’ll be unstoppable.