Welcome to Caregiver’s Corner, a place where information, resources, and advice about caregiving will be shared. Let’s face it. Caregiving can be rough. It comes with many challenges and obstacles to overcome, but it also comes with many rewards and heartfelt moments. It is learning to balance both sides that often times can become difficult to do when caring for another. How do you know what to do? Can I do this? One way is to dispel some myths about caregiving. The following are 6 Myths about Caregiving taken from caregiving.com.

1. The government has programs to cover all costs of care.
While part of this is true, Medicare will pay for some of the costs associated with caring for an elderly adult. it is meant for the short-term not the long-term. The reality is that often times this responsibility falls on the family. There are, however, agencies that can help provide services and/or supplies such as Area on Aging.

2. My Mom raised children with little or no help. Surely I can do this on my own.
Caring for a frail relative with a chronic illness is not then same as caring for a child. There will be similarities, but it can take a toll on your emotions and even wear you down. This is why it is helpful and important to have help and support.

3. Everyone who has helped in the past will help now.
Move in your elderly grandfather with dementia and watch your close circle of friends scatter. Tell them you’re feeling stressed and witness eye-rolls and impatient sighs. “Why not just put him in a nursing home?,” they’ll advise. Ask for help—hey, haven’t you always been there to pitch in?—and you’ll be asking to an empty room. Not everyone disappears, but the number of those who do can be heartbreaking. The truth is that not everyone knows how to or is willing to help.

4. Your caregiving situation is so strange and bizarre you’ll never find anyone who can help or understand.
A husband who urinates in the planter. A grandmother who swears like a sailor. A mother who believes a clean house is one cleaned 20 years ago. You may think you’ve got a caregiving situation to take the cake and that there is absolutely, positively no help. Try. Professionals who work in social services agencies and eldercare agencies will not bat an eye when you share your story. (And, if you they do, find another staff member or agency.) It’s embarrassing to you, but to a professional, it’s just part of their day. Still unconvinced? Share you r story. I’ll see if it something I haven’t heard before.

5. ll your friends and family members will understand exactly how you feel. You can look at your care recipient and feel like you can read his heart and mind. So, depending on what you read, you react. You take care. So, because you can, you think others can, too. Sigh. Many can’t. It would be wonderful if they could, but they can’t. It’s not a poor reflection on them or on you—it’s just a fact. Because they can’t, you can: Tell them what you need and how you feel. You’ll both feel better for it.
6. It’s easy to find the treatment and care your care recipient needs.
With a good doctor, counselor, social worker, it can be a fairly smooth ride (bumps to be expected) to an appropriate diagnosis, treatment and care plan. But without supports, it can be a nightmare. Trust your gut, advocate for your care recipient and demand answers .

Look for more information to come! Questions? Advice? Comments? Feel free to share.

Eileen Henry is the Graduate Counseling Intern with in the Stepping Stones program at Step By Step Counseling, LLC.