As a caregiver, do you find it difficult to ask other people for the help you need? There are many reasons this may be the case. According to the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, these are the most common reasons caregivers do not seek the support they need but, keep in mind, you do not need to do it alone.
Do you believe you’re the only person capable of providing quality care?
You probably are the best person to care for your loved one. However, other people can do a good job without putting your loved one at risk. Let them assist you for short periods of time. You can give them more responsibility once you feel comfortable.
Do you think it’s easier if you to just do it all yourself?
Many of us were raised with a do-it-all mentality. In the beginning, it may be easier for you to be the sole caregiver. However, caring for someone with dementia is a long-term responsibility. A good place to begin sharing caregiver responsibilities is to ask other people to help with specific tasks. Perhaps a friend or family member can go to the grocery store for you or sit with your loved one for a couple of hours while you run errands. With other people shouldering part of the care, you’ll have time for new challenges and be in a position to take better care of yourself.
Do you worry that you’ll be rejected if you ask for help?
Some people may not agree to help when you ask, and they may have valid reasons for doing so. Other people may agree to help and then not come through. Don’t take it personally. Make a list of family members and friends who are potential caregivers. These people are probably waiting for an opportunity to help, but they’re not clear about the support you need. The bottom line is don’t be afraid to bring up your need for help. You won’t know if someone is willing until you ask.
Do you believe other people will think you’re incompetent or less loving if you need help?
Most people know how difficult it is to be a caregiver. They will understand that asking for help is a way to meet your loved one’s needs while looking after your own health. It is both loving and smart to let other people get involved. Remember, you do not need to do it alone!
Do you assume that no one will help you, no matter what you say or do?
You may not have family or friends who live close by. You may have been turned down when you previously asked for help. Never give up! Make finding help an important part of your schedule. Be creative, assertive, and BOLD. Your well-being and ability to provide quality care depend on it.
Recognize the signs of Caregiver stress
Caregiver stress can lead to anger, exhaustion, social withdrawal, anxiety, depression, and other problems. Therefore, if you are experiencing caregiver stress, it is critically important that you find support.
The Alzheimer’s Project is here to help!
The mission of the Alzheimer’s Project is to provide comfort and support to people living with memory disorders and their caregivers. If you are a caregiver, we want you to contact us and let us know how we can help. If you know a caregiver who needs help, please tell them about the Alzheimer’s Project. Providing care is heart-wrenching, demanding, and difficult. No one should have to and you do not need to do it alone!