ReadersMagnet Review debunks a number of misconceptions of caregiving and caregivers.

Despite being an industry that employs thousands of people, there are still quite many misconceptions of caregiving being spread around. Caregiving in the United States and especially at this time of the great pandemic is essential. This year we have seen how caregivers provided the necessary workforce and professional care to aid doctors and nurses in the great battle against covid. The best way to repay them is to debunk these misconceptions that actually distract family members from getting caregiving services for their loved ones. They also discourage many people from becoming caregivers and seeking a career in professional caregiving. Based on the items discussed by the experienced caregiver and author of the book A Caregiver’s Journey, Eleanor Gaccetta, in her blogs, Readers shares these common misconceptions about caregiving and caregivers.

All, if not most, caregivers are adults.

According to the latest report by AARP (2020), the age of caregivers is spread across age brackets, with 49 years old the average age for caregivers. However, this does not mean that all or most caregivers are adults or in prime age. There are family caregivers below 18 years old, giving care and assistance to elderly or sick loved ones. There are also caregivers under the age category of 50 to 64 years old (35%) and 65 to 74 years old (12%). The latter is already considered a retirement age bracket for some industries. So there, not all caregivers are adults. Some are too young and had to sacrifice their childhood to care for others or to earn. There are those well beyond their prime and continues to perform service professionally or for family and relatives.

Caregiving is mainly for women.

Before, it was considered that caregiving is a job for women. Over the years, that mindset has been debunked as more men are into family and professional caregiving. One reason for this increase in men assuming the role of caregiving for their parents, spouse, or relatives is the financial cost of hiring professional care and private facility care. In a way, it has pushed more males to learn and eventually embrace caregiving. 

Another preconceived notion that women are better caregivers and more nurturing than men is now debunked. Training and standard protocols have enabled men to catch up and learn the ropes as effectively as their female counterparts. Male caregivers have also proven very useful in many tasks such as patient transport, assisting in toilet and bathing, accompanying and operating equipment.

Caregivers primarily provide medical care.

Unfortunately, many still think that caregiving’s job is the same as that of doctors and nurses or that professional caregivers are exclusive to replacing soiled sheets, assisting elderly patients with their meals, bath, and moving around. According to AARP and the United Hospital Fund statistics, almost more than half of family caregivers (46%) perform tasks usually done by medical personnel or nurses. Some of these tasks may include administering medications or daily monitoring of chronic care conditions such as diabetes, lupus, congestive heart failure, etc. While caregivers communicate and work with doctors, nurses, and medical professionals to ensure their patients’ safety and welfare, they are not primarily in charge of medical attention or care. While it is also true that 95% of caregivers assist with their patients’ daily activities, such as personal hygiene, bathing, eating, dressing, moving around, and changing dress and sheets, they are not limited to these roles.

Nursing homes provide premium caregiving services.

In her memoir One Caregiver’s Journey, Eleanor Gaccetta recounts how she and her cousin went looking for an assisted living facility. They visited 40 facilities before finally settling on the right one. According to Ellie, it is not always true that nursing homes provide the best care. Nursing homes are profit-oriented in nature. She cites that many of the nursing care facilities have outdated equipment and are noticeably understaffed. As for newer facilities, they charge $9,000 or more per month for a semi-private room. And yet, they do not guarantee premium care. Gaccetta’s advice is simple and yet brilliant, 

“My sage advice is to let your nose and eyes be the judge. If the facility smells or there are no smiles on the residents’ faces – leave.”

Caregivers hate their jobs.

The idea that caregivers hate what they do is somewhat tricky to debunk. Caregiving as a profession is a tough one. Caring for others is not easy and requires patience, effort, and skills. However, we would like to believe that caregivers feel a sense of pride in what they do simply because not everyone can do it. Yes, not everyone is cut out for the job, plain and simple. And those who have been doing it probably found something, a sense of fulfillment, pride, or joy, for them to continue what they are doing. Lastly, caregiving for loved ones or relatives should be a chore; it is a choice. And once we embrace the idea that we are doing the tasks we do because we genuinely care or love that particular person in need, it ceases to be just tasks and duties but an act of unconditional love.

Overall, we do hope that these will help educate readers about the misconceptions of caregiving. Now more than ever, we must show our appreciation and gratitude towards these caring men and women, for, without them, it would be hard to take care of thousands of patients, especially today that our war against Covid-19 is continuing. Please stop spreading these myths and instead celebrate the heroism of caregivers all over the world.