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Caregiver Dilemma: How to Ask for Help
Written By : SeniorsList 
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As modern medicine is helping a greater number of people live to more advanced ages, becoming a caregiver for a parent will be a reality for a larger percentage of the population. Of course, some have to become caregivers sooner than would be expected due to illness. No matter what caused the need for you to become a caregiver, you will find that there are some common caregiver dilemmas that most will face. One such caregiver dilemma is learning how to ask for help.

The “Good” Son

It is quite common for caregiver responsibility to fall to the “good” son or daughter. In other words, the sibling that tends to be the first to offer assistance is most likely to be the one to end up with the lion’s share of caregiving duties.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the others are not willing to make themselves available, and it doesn’t mean that one sibling should have to handle the caregiving on their own.

In families where there are two or more siblings, and all live within a reasonable distance of the relative who requires care, the duties should be split to some extent. Even if one person provides the bulk of the care, the others should be involved on a regular basis.

Who to Ask

If you have siblings then your brothers and sisters are the place to start. If you do not, or if they live far away, you can ask other relatives or even close friends. Of course, relatives may feel more of a burden to help you but some of your close friends may be willing to pitch in for your benefit.

When to Ask

Depending on the level of care that you are required to give, it is easy to burnout quite quickly. The trick is not waiting until you feel overwhelmed. Instead, ask for help upfront. In others words, don’t get to the point where you feel like you NEED help but rather ask nearby relatives at the beginning how much they be willing and/or are able to help out with caregiving duties.

How to Ask

In perfect families, you will not have to ask for help, thus eliminating this particular caregiver dilemma. Unfortunately, most families are not perfect, so there is a good chance that you will have to ask for help at some point. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Don’t Accuse – Don’t come at other family members with statement such as, “Are you ever going to come help with Dad?” or “Do you really think I should have to do all this myself?” Instead, just ask for what you want. “I could really use some help for a few hours three or four days a week. This will give me time for shopping and other errands. What days would you be available to help?” If you go in sounding as though you are being accusatory, the other person is going to automatically be on the defense, and will be less likely to want to help.
  • Adjust Your Expectations – You cannot expect everyone to put in as much effort as you are willing to offer. While it would be nice for all to contribute equally just be grateful for whatever people are willing to do.

Asking for help can be difficult, but it is a necessary part of being a caregiver. It is not only good for you, but it will give your other relatives a chance to spend time with the person being cared for and to have the satisfaction that comes with helping in such a way.

Copyright © 2012

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