Do you cringe at the thought of asking others for help with your caregiving duties? Here are some ideas to ease the process.
#1 Remember the importance
As caregivers, our emotional and physical wellbeing are affected by our situation and it is critical to prevent caregiver burnout before it happens, otherwise, you will be no good to the person you’re supporting. We all have limits and we need to remember the importance of not reaching those limits, but rather reaching out for help before that happens. If it really bothers you to ask others for help, think of it as a crucial part of helping your loved one. You have to be at your best to provide the best care.
#2 Don’t view it as a burden
Many times, we don’t want to put other people out, especially if it’s our friends we are asking. We don’t want to burden them with our problems or add something to their plate. But we have to trust that others are responsible enough to decide for themselves if they can allow the time in their schedule to provide assistance. Try and let others make the call as to the capacity they have to help. And if they are unable to help, respect their decision.
#3 Consider who you ask
about what you need help with and then think the interests of those around you.
Put another way, match the task with the person. For example, if you have a
friend you know is a dog lover, consider asking him or her to take
your bowser out for a walk when they are able, or be the chauffeur to
the groomers. Or, maybe you know someone who’s a financial whiz who can help
with your taxes or someone who loves to garden to help with some yard work.
#4 Make specific requests
asking either family or friends for assistance, first explain why you need the
help i.e. you’re feeling both mentally and physically exhausted by all the
demands and you could sure use their help. And then ask for a specific favor,
as opposed to a generalized call for help. Depending on your circumstances and
level of providing care, you may only need some important household chores
done, or you may need some much-needed respite help.
#5 Try not to make it personal
family situation is unique, and sure there are those who have families, perhaps
siblings, who may not chip in their part if you are caring for an aging parent
with bipolar. To avoid disappointment, try to be prepared for hesitance or even
someone unwilling to help. Try to remember the person is saying no to the task,
not to you. And we have to remember everyone has their own struggles in their
lives and it’s wise to respect that.
#6 Know where to go for help
Help can come from a variety of areas: community resources,
family, friends, and professionals. Assistance can also come in the form of someone
to talk to, so you may want to reach out to a support network, either in person
or online. For practical help, and depending on your situation, you can
consider in-home meal delivery and house-cleaning services and all-around
personal concierge-type services.
#7 Be willing to accept
one thing to actively ask for help, but there may be times when you’re thrown
off-guard if you are asked what you need. When someone provides a genuine offer
to help, be gracious and accept willingly. Also, be at the ready to give a few
options of helpful tasks they could take on and let them choose which is
feasible. It’s a good idea to have a mental list of some of the things you need
doing. For example, your neighbor could pick up a few things at the store on her
way home from work or take your dog for a walk a couple of times a week.
Caring for another, but not yourself becomes a pattern difficult to break. Ask yourself these questions to determine what’s preventing you from reaching out for help: Do you believe it’s selfish to ask for help? There are many of us who simply hate the idea of putting someone out. We are the ones offering favors...
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