There’s a trend on the social media platform Tik Tok called “5 things I would never do” where different professionals post about things they would never do based on their expertise and experience.
5 Things I would never do as a family caregiver for an elderly loved one:
#1. Not make safety, dignity, and comfort a priority. If our loved one is in a safe environment where they feel comfortable and are treated with dignity, then we can sleep at night.
#2. Not make self-care a daily priority. As the saying goes, “put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others.” We MUST take care of ourselves every day in order to function optimally for ourselves and others we care about.
#3. Not ask questions. There is no shame in not knowing or understanding something. Ask questions-lots of them.
#4. Try and do everything by oneself. It is impossible to do it all, and caring for an elderly loved one can be a lonely place to be. Surround yourself with others who can be helpful, be a supportive listener, and/or share their wisdom.
#5. Expect that everything will remain the same. Caring for elderly loved ones requires one to “expect the unexpected.” There are good days and not so good days, especially when caring for elderly with dementia. Be flexible in your thinking and know that change in care, placement, and health is always a possibility.