4 Questions to Help You Isolate the Obstacles to Your Own Self-care

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

March 17, 2016

Elderly Care in Pittsburgh PA

A common problem among family caregivers is that they find it difficult to engage in self-care activities. Often this happens because they are coming up against internal barriers that keep them Elderly-Care-in-Pittsburgh-PAfrom caring for themselves. The key to overcoming this problem is to figure out what your barriers are so that you can work through them.
Do You Think You’re Being Selfish?
One of the first obstacles that caregivers encounter when they think about their own needs is the feeling that needing or wanting anything for themselves is purely selfish and they should be ashamed of meeting their own needs when their loved one has more important needs. Getting past that feeling of selfishness is essential if family caregivers are to practice self-care at all.
How Do You Feel When You Think About Your Own Needs?
When some family caregivers think about their own needs, they might get angry, nervous, or even afraid. The reasons for that vary, but in the end it boils down to feeling that their needs are wrong to think about or even to have. If this is the case for you, try to get at the root of why you are experiencing strong feelings about your own needs. You might even need to enlist the help of a counselor who can help you to work through those feelings.
Is It Wrong for You to Ask for Help?
Some family caregivers have a very strong belief, sometimes that they haven’t even expressed to themselves, that asking for help with their loved one is not the right thing to do. If they were really a good caretaker for their elderly loved one, then they’d be able to handle everything on their own. This isn’t the case, though, and having experienced elderly care providers, other family members, and a full medical team on hand for help can make life so much easier for both you and for your elderly loved one.
Are You Trying to Prove Something to Your Elderly Loved One?
It’s very common for caregivers to have a complicated relationship with their elderly loved one. In some cases, the early years of the relationship may have been rocky or even bad. This can cause dilemmas for you as a caregiver because you find quite a bit of your identity wrapped up in trying to prove to your elderly loved one that you love them or that you’re worthy of their love or affection. You might even worry that the smallest preference for meeting your own needs proves to your loved one that you’re actually not worthy.
Once you realize what barriers are keeping you from practicing self-care, you can get to a point where you can balance caregiving and self-care.
Excerpt: Do you know what’s keeping you from caring for yourself as much as you care for your loved one?

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care services in Pittsburgh, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551