Ask for help!
Ask for help!
It's safe to say that most caregivers are extremely capable and caring individuals with a great sense of responsibility. We sign up for the caregiver role pledging to do everything we can to keep those in our care safe, comfortable and happy.
Given our drive and sense of responsibility we often feel as though we can and should be able to handle anything that comes our way all by ourselves. We do it, it's what we signed up for and it's our job to soldier on no matter what.
Some of us even feel like there is something wrong with us if we have to reach out and ask for help.
Although it's understandable that we might feel this way nothing can be further from the truth. Caregiving takes a village. Trying to do all of it alone is overwhelming and exhausting and we can begin to feel crazy and emotionally bankrupt. This is a breeding ground for bad decisions, isolation and loneliness. It's crazy making. (Check this valuable link about respite care http://www.thecarecenters.com/ar/value-of-respite-care)
Reaching out and asking for help is one of the most important things caregivers can do for themselves and those they care for. Most of us are surrounded by family and friends that would gladly pitch in and help but don't know what we need or how to offer.
Sometimes all we need is someone to talk to. There is nothing like a supportive, good listener to soothe the soul.
If family and friends aren't available, there are wonderful organizations, church groups, and senior support institutions that offer wonderful programs and support. (Check out this helpful link http://www.thecarecenters.com/ar/benefits-of-adult-day-care-services)
There is always help and relief available. Give yourself permission to speak up, reach out and ask for help. Even if you just put someone on notice that you may be needing them in the future you are taking an important step towards the type of self care necessary to survive the caregiving journey. Asking for help saved my life. Let it save yours.