No one likes to ask for help. But, sometimes you should. Sometimes you tell yourself that there may be times when you might really need additional help more than you do now. You don't want to impose or bother your friends. You know other family members have duties and responsibilities that seem equally as daunting as what you've taken on. But, the reality is that if you don't take care of your physical, mental, and emotional needs, you will not be as good a caregiver as you could be. Think about you and what you need. It's not selfish. It's appropriately caring for your family member by also making sure you are up to the task.
There are lots of ways to get help. Obviously, there are family members, friends, and your faith community. You can also ask for help from your local aging agency.
|Perhaps a friend could research available services such as Adult Day Care. Maybe he or she could find an online support group for you. Maybe your family members could help out once a week or even once a month to give you a break by sitting with your family member or shopping and running errands for you. Perhaps your faith community could organize a team approach to help out where one person would bring dinner over one night a week.|
People love to help but they don't know what to do. And, they don't want to offend you or hurt your pride. So, they might never approach you while they wait for you to ask them to help and give them ideas on how to help.
Caregiver stress and depression are real. They are hard to deal with coupled with the realities of caregiving. Don't let yourself get to that state of mind. Ask for help before it gets to that point. Both you and your family member will be better served.
The American Medical Association has developed on online checklist for caregivers to help assess the need for the caregiver to seek support. This may also be useful in deciding if you, the caregiver, need help.
Stress adversely affects health. It may be a gradual process or it can show immediately. Either way, it can cause serious health problems if not addressed.
Learn the warning signs of caregiver stress, why it's important to address stress, how to cope, national toll-free crisis hotline help, and how to get personalized help.
Caregiver stress often leads to depression. Depression is common among family caregivers. Find out more about it.
|When families are in crisis, they often are at a loss for how to ask for help even if they finally decide to ask for it. With so much going on, it seems daunting to have to take on yet another task - that of organizing friends, family, co-workers, church family, and other volunteers. The help is certainly needed but caregivers give up before they even ask for help.|
There are resources that have been developed to address this very important need.
Sometimes just getting a break is all that you need. Sometimes getting a break is what makes everything work. That's what respite is - a break for caregivers. Find out more about what respite is and how to access this service for caregivers.
|Sometimes, talking to other individuals who are experiencing similar issues is very helpful. Participants can learn from each other, share the emotional and mental burdens of caregiving, and get needed time to process and explore solutions to problems and concerns. Support groups can provide a safe and nurturing environment in which to do these things.|
Your local aging agency may receive federal, state, and local tax dollars to provide services to help you. Take advantage of that. Caregiver Specialists are specially trained to help them understand what you are going through. They know what is available in your county that could help such as support groups, friendly visiting, respite services, in-home services, etc. Call. Ask. That's what they are there for.
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