Overwhelmed Caregivers: Tips When Asking for Help

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posted by Ryan Whittington on December 06, 2010

An area of concern that I get asked about the most is finding someone to give the caregiver a break to care for the elderly.  More commonly, this was called respite care.We find ourselves unprepared for caring for our parent especially when that care is for issues such as dementia, incontinence or immobility.Many caregivers try to provide care single- handedly while neglecting their own needs. It is common among caregivers to think that their life has to come second to the needs of their parent. Martyrdom is common.There are solutions but they require risk. Many caregivers often fear asking for help because they fear rejection. Admitting that they cannot handle all the caregiving alone is often terrifying. Most wonder why others will not offer to help so they do not have to ask.

  1. Get special instruction to provide the care needed. Ask your doctor for a Medicare Occupational Therapist or a Nurse to instruct you on incontinence care and bathing.  A Physical Therapist will teach you how to transfer your parent to the toilet, in/out of the car, set up an exercise routine,etc.
  2. Make a list of all the things that will give you a break. Examples include a cooked meal twice a week, a sitter 9:00am to 12 noon Tuesday and Thursday or playing cards with mom every Wednesday afternoon.
  3. Join a support team even when you think you do not need it.
  4. Hire someone sit with your parent so you can have a night out with spouse or family night.
  5. Plan a Vacation by swapping homes with a sibling.
  6. Hire respite care, including private duty home care regularly for you and your family.
  7. Start all this as soon as possible so your parent gets used to different people providing the care.

Keep your needs list current.

ANYTIME ANYONE asks if you need anything, go right to this list and ask them to choose what ever they feel they can do.

You will be amazed how often people will sign up to help when you are clear on your needs.

Dedicated to Eldercare

Written by: Nurse Alice Endy

Post Tags

Caregiving and Case Management
  1. scott


    December 19, 2017

    It’s interesting that you talked about making a list of when you need breaks. I have been thinking about becoming a caregiver in the future. I can see how it would be smart to schedule breaks because it could keep you from becoming overwhelmed.

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