So many caregivers find themselves in a grey area long before they accept that they’re actually caregivers. They might eschew the title of officially being a loved one’s caregiver or they might avoid using the term. What could be behind that?
You Help out, But Only a Little
For some caregivers, they realize that they help out with a loved one, but it’s only now and then or only a little bit of help. That doesn’t make them a caregiver, right? The reality is that you pretty much are a caregiver if you’re helping someone even a little bit. And that’s okay. You don’t have to call yourself by a specific title in order to offer assistance to the people that you love.
It’s not a Burden to You
Still other caregivers feel as if the title implies that caregiving is a chore or a burden. If they don’t feel that burden, then they don’t need to adopt that title. It might also feel as if by accepting the title, that means that the caregiver now needs additional help, too. None of that has to be true, either.
It’s a Scary Title
Finally calling yourself a caregiver can be extremely scary. That one word can carry a lot of weight, even if it’s only in your own mind. Acknowledging that you’re someone who takes care of your loved one now becomes concrete and even more real than all of your actions do. This can be a frightening place, especially for new caregivers.
You Don’t Know What Caregiving Will Entail
For some people, the uncertainty of the future is what holds them back from committing to the title of “caregiver.” You don’t know what’s going to happen down the line and you’re officially claiming responsibility for someone else’s care and well-being when you call yourself that person’s caregiver. Even though it’s just a word, it can be a powerful word with a lot of meaning.
Accepting terminology doesn’t change who you are or what you’re doing for someone that you love. It might be easier to give up any connotations you associate with the word, though.