Common Caregiver Privacy Problems and Solutions
It’s no surprise that making the transition from family member, to full-time caregiver can be filled with a variety of issues and tough situations. Caring for an aging parent or loved one certainly always begins with the best intentions, but it can quickly turn into a tense and stressful situation. There’s no predicting what kind of problems will arise, but it’s important to be able to identify these problems, and more importantly, a solution. Below are just a few caregiver privacy problems you might face during your time as a caregiver, as well as some suggestions on how to conquer these issues.
Common Caregiver Privacy Problems
Problem: Separating Family Time and Caregiving
One of the most common caregiver privacy problems you might experience is separating caregiving and family time. It’s a tough position to be in because the closer you become with your loved one, the less privacy you’re likely to have. While it’s important to remain close to your loved one and be as available as you can, a lack of privacy can create tension in the household and can only lead to more issues. It’s important to look at both physical and mental privacy when addressing the situation.
Having physical privacy means that you and your loved one aren’t in close-quarters 24/7. Everyone needs a little space every once in a while, so it’s important that both you and your senior understand that. It can be especially challenging if you live in a smaller house or your senior is suffering from Alzheimer’s or another mental health issue. The disinhibition (loss of social appropriateness) that can be part of dementia like Alzheimer's can lead a loved one to barge into bedrooms and bathrooms, for example.
Having mental privacy means you’ll be able to participate in the same family routines and traditions to bring a sense of normalcy back into your life while caregiving. While it’s important to include your loved one in activities, you don’t want to alienate the rest of your family by abandoning traditions.
Solution: Create Space For Everyone
There are a variety of different solutions that you can implement to make sure privacy is not violated and the entire family remains happy. Try to give your loved one his or her own living space. Try to give them their own TV and lounging area so you both have your own space for recreation. This will eliminate arguments over which show to watch or who gets to pick the next activity.
Remain conscious about establishing one-on-one time with the rest of the family. Even if it’s just a quick trip for ice cream or playing catch in the park, it’s important to remind your family that they aren’t left by the wayside. There are numerous solutions to combat an invasion of privacy but the number one rule is to compromise. Working together will be the best way to find common ground between you and your loved one.
Problem: Too Much Babysitting
It’s normal to become overwhelmed or exhausted as a caregiver. Many caregivers are not only taking care of their elder, but they’re taking care of own children as well. Many caregivers long for a little vacation time – alone. However, another caregiver privacy problem is that they simply can’t do anything without their senior coming with. Some seniors need to be supervised around the clock, making a vacation non-existent.
Solution: Adult Day Care Or Babysitter Help
One great service that many caregivers don’t know about is adult day care. Similar to a traditional day care, you can drop your loved one of at an adult day care facility that ensures that they will get the proper care and attention they need throughout the day. These communities provide meals, entertainment, and most importantly, time for you to have some much-needed “me time.” Whether it’s for a few hours or a few days, this solution will allow you to finally relax and get the peace and quiet you deserve.
Another solution for this common caregiver privacy problem is to ask a trustworthy friend or family member to watch your loved one for a portion of the time. Make sure to write out a detailed list of medications and other important information they need so that they can properly take care of your loved one. While you might feel guilty about leaving your senior behind, it’s important to remember that you need some TLC as well, and your senior will understand that.
Problem: Stuck In The Sandwich Generation
The sandwich generation is those who are currently caring for both seniors, as well as their own children. While it can be overwhelming just to care for your own kin, adding the caregiving responsibilities of looking after your elderly loved one can increase the burden. Whether you’re making sure your senior is comfortable or balancing the hectic schedule of your children, it can be tough to find some alone time. These responsibilities can quickly mount, leading to caregiver burnout.
Solution: Ask For Help
Many caregivers feel like they have to bear the burden all on their own. Since it’s their own senior and their own children, many feel like they need to carry the weight all by themselves. Make sure to ask family members, and even your children to lend a hand with caregiving. While it can be tough being in the sandwich generation, it can also be a great way to bring your family closer by helping each other out.