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Chronic Illness & Caregiving

Debunking 5 Myths About Caregivers

Caregivers provide a vital service that is extremely fulfilling in lots of ways. However, there is, unfortunately, an awful stigma attached to being a caregiver. The following article will help debunk these common myths and make you feel better about being a caregiver in your life.

Millions of people care for someone who can’t take care of themselves, often a parent or a spouse. The amount of caregiver hours spent is staggering, not to mention the cost.

Between time travel to and from the doctor’s office and hospital, plus the cost of medications and medical equipment. There are undoubtedly many caregiving expenses. I thought it could be helpful to consider five common myths about caregivers and debunk their legitimacy when viewed from an overall perspective.

The myths surrounding caregiving vary and are primarily based on fear. Most of the people who circulate myths about caregiving do not know what caregivers do. The first step in debunking the myths is to understand the things that truly make up a caregiver of an elderly or terminally ill individual.

Although every caregiver is different, they all share things in common. Let us consider some of these things:

  1. They provide emotional support to their loved ones. Caregivers ensure they meet not only the physical needs of their patients. They go a step further to release them from any emotional trauma.
  2. They help manage the finances and bills. Most caregivers supervise the finances of their patients. They pay bills, bank transactions, and even supervise their spending.
  3. Caregivers encourage exercise, careful eating habits, and medications. Caregivers always ensure that their patients are in a fit state and well-being.
  4. Caregivers help move them from place to place if they cannot move on their own. Caregivers provide the needed support for patients with disabilities to move around.

Now, let us study some of the common myths and how we can debunk them:

  1. All caregivers eventually get depression. Truth: The claim that all caregivers have a package of depression as a reward is non-factual and has no proof. By being kind to oneself and practicing self-care, one can do away with depression.
  2. You have to be available at all times when you’re caring for someone. Truth: If you can’t make yourself available, find other ways to help your parents manage their health and quality of life—like preparing healthy meals or taking them on walks—you’re still a great caregiver!
  3. You have to take care of every need your senior has. Truth: This is impossible. No one person can do everything, and that’s why it’s so important to have a community of support around you. There are many types of help available for seniors in need, so don’t think you have to do it all!
  4. Caregivers should be able to do everything themselves. Truth: This is the most common myth that causes the most problems. It prevents caregivers from seeking the help they need. Asking for help is not a sign of failure. It is rather a sign of strength and wisdom.
  5. Caregivers are all women. Truth: No! Men are as likely to be caregivers as women. About 43% of caregivers in America are men. This statistic also means that neither gender is better or worse at being a caregiver than the other one.

Regardless of your gender or relationship with your senior loved one, the most important thing is to be compassionate and dedicated to their well-being.

People often believe myths because they confirm what they already believe. Many people in an aging population will face caregiving in their lives. By debunking common myths, it may be easier for them to deal with the challenges of caregiving when the time comes for them or someone close to them.