“I need help but I don’t want to bother my other family members.”
If you have found yourself having similar thoughts, you are not alone. According to the National Family Caregivers Association, many caregivers struggle asking for help. Reasons vary, but the majority of caregivers asking for help feel that they will be a burden to others and choose to avoid the question rather than getting what they need.
The organization found that over one quarter of United States citizens are acting as caregivers for loved ones and 72 percent of those Family Caregivers do so without the assistance of other family members. It was also found that 31 percent surveyed said they would like more help in order to provide care and one in four caregivers feel resentment towards other family members who do not provide assistance.
If you find yourself weary of asking for help, there are ways to approach family about help and your job as a Family Caregiver that will help you communicate your needs. The key is to consider the approach to communication and the role of each individual:
Consider which family members can contribute in areas that are convenient for them before asking. This way, you can determine how they can help without feeling like you are asking too much.
Give helpers a specific duty. When a person asks to help, take them up on their offer by giving them a task that is easy to manage and remember. They will easily remember their task and can handle it without needing assistance or guidance from you.
Keep your family members and helpers up to date about your senior loved one. Simple emails, texts or phone calls will help keep everyone informed about schedule changes or updates on your loved one’s health. When everyone feels involved, it strengthens your caregiving relationships.
Learn to let others help. As a caregiver, you are responsible for the majority of your loved one’s care and it is understandable to want control to ensure they are receiving the care they need. The benefit of having help is that some of those responsibilities are lifted off of your shoulders. It may ease your mind to hand over some of that control if you make lists of emergency contacts, your loved one’s health needs and other precautionary measures to hand out to your helpers.
Caregiving is not a journey you must walk alone. Asking your friends and family for help is a great step in the right direction. Another step is entrusting the care of your loved one to the professional health care team at Freudenthal Home Health Services that can assist in care, ranging from transportation to appointments, medication management and therapy. Contact us today to learn more.