Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Caregivers face a lot of difficult challenges on nearly a daily basis. However, for some caregivers, one of the most difficult things they may face is asking others for help. That’s because caregivers often believe they should be able to do everything on their own. That’s not realistic, though. Almost every caregiver can benefit from assistance from family members, friends, and neighbors. If you’re a caregiver who needs help, but doesn’t know how to ask for it, here are 5 tips to help you.
#1: Explain What’s Going On
Because caregivers are prone to answering “fine” when people ask how they are doing, others often don’t have a clear understanding of what being a caregiver entails. They may not realize how much you’re packing into every single day or just how tired you are. Explaining what it’s like to be a caregiver and how you’re feeling can encourage others to offer to help. In fact, people are often willing to help, they just aren’t sure if you need it and don’t want to offend you by asking.
#2: Make a List of Ways Others Can Help
How many times has someone asked you what they can do and you’ve responded, “Oh, nothing. I’m fine.” You may respond in that manner because you’re not prepared with ideas for things they can do. Try making a list of tasks you’re comfortable passing off, like cooking a few meals, doing the grocery shopping, or sitting with the senior for an hour or two while you do something else. Then, when you’re asked, you can give the person some ideas and they can choose what they’d like to do.
#3: When You Approach Someone for Help, Be Specific
Sometimes people are reluctant to help because they aren’t certain what it involves. Being faced with taking care of an older adult can be daunting if you have no idea what they’ll be expected to do. Making specific requests can make it less intimidating. If you need someone to sit with your elderly mother for a few hours, tell the person you’re asking exactly what they’ll be expected to do, like helping her walk to the bathroom, getting her lunch out of the refrigerator at noon, and keeping her company until you’re back.
#4: Address Emotions
One of the reasons family members may be reluctant to help is because seeing what the older adult is going through makes them sad. Acknowledging those feelings and telling them how you feel may help. Talk to them about how being a caregiver has helped you to deal with your loved one’s condition.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Mothers Helping Hands Home Care, please talk to one of our caring staff today. Serving individuals and their families in 17 counties in Georgia. Call us 24/7 today at: (470) 260-4137!