You are feeling overwhelmed and wishing you didn’t have to do this all yourself and like many family caregivers, you have friends and other family members who have said, “How can I help? Call if you need anything.” Asking for help can be hard, but accepting help when it is offered is even more difficult. If you are committed to being there in the long run for the person you care for – you must be able to let others help.
One of the best things you can do for yourself and the person you are caring for is to accept help.
Take affirmative steps and begin exploring ways that others can help:
- Break bigger projects into smaller tasks, for example: Doing laundry could be broken into: sorting, washing, drying and folding.
- Make a list of all the things you do daily, weekly and monthly.
- Circle any of the items that you would be willing to have someone else do – either as a volunteer or to be paid.
- Make a list of all the things that have been piling up because you don’t have time to get to them.
Alleviate the pressure of asking for and accepting help:
- The next time someone asks if they can help – have your list ready and tell them what would be helpful.
- Remember that we all need to feel helpful – you are giving your friends a gift by allowing them to help.
- Write a letter or email to your friends, family and neighbors – give them an update on your situation and let them know of a few ways they could help if they are able.
- Learn to receive.