Should You Be A Caregiver

Should You Be a Caregiver?

Not everyone is suited to care giving. Before assuming caregiving duties, it is important that caregivers participate in a process that Bernie Siegel, the physician who specialized in self-care for cancer therapy, calls “carefrontation,” a time of introspection to help potential caregivers determine if they can legitimately embrace the role. Introspection is an honest appraisal of capabilities when caregivers take a hard and truthful look at who they are what they can handle physically, emotionally, and mentally. The fundamental question that must be asked is, What is the most loving choice for the care recipient, the potential caregivers, and the members of the respective families?

An impulse or reactive choice to be a caregiver can lead to abuse of the care recipient, nervous breakdowns, poor health, or fiscal fraud. Determining how much time can be spent performing caregiving tasks, how much money can be contributed, or what special skills can be offered is an important part of reflection. Another consideration is emotional support – how much the caregiver will need as well as how much the caregiver can provide for the care recipient. Importantly, those who have been abused at the hands of a parent or other individual should not service as a caregiver for their abuser, for the sake of both parties’ safety and mental health.

Introspection Questions

1.      Are you a nurturer?

2.      What in your background supports being a nurturer?

3.      Do you have any unresolved and deep-seated anger over how the potential care recipient treated you as a child, teenager, or adult?

4.      Were you physically or sexually abused by the potential care recipient?

5.      How is your health and stamina? Do you have the energy to be a principal caregiver?

6.      What is your prime motivation for caregiving – guilt, family obligations, or love?

7.      What duty and obligation do you believe you have to the potential care recipient?

8.      Have you rid yourself of emotional baggage and owned your vulnerability?

9.      Can you express your feelings and your opinions even when they are unpopular?

10.  Can you comfort friends and family members when they are in distress?

11.  How well have you cared for yourself in your life? Do you know your limits, and do you honor them?

12.  Do you respect your priority needs and seek to get them met?

13.  Do you know how to relax and mitigate stress? Do you actively incorporate wellness activities in your life? How well do you have care of yourself? Are you last on the priority rung?

14.  What role do religion and spirituality play in your life? Is it an anchor and a support for you?

15.  How well would your family and home handle the addition of a parent or grandparent?

16.  Do you work at home? Is your workspace separated from living space?

17.  What kind of financial support can you provide?

18.  Can you take on the responsibility of home care? Are you willing to do this?

19.  Is your home compatible with the potential care recipient’s current and future needs?

20.  Can you afford to remodel if necessary?

21.  What sorts of support systems exist in your community and county to help you with caregiving?

22.  Can you easily ask for help if you require it?

23.  Can you set and maintain boundaries?

The information above is reprinted from Working with Seniors: Health, Financial and Social Issues with permission from Society of Certified Senior Advisors® . Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.