When you think about asking for help, how do you feel? For many caregivers, asking for help feels like an impossible task that isn’t going to do what they need ultimately anyway. But that’s not how it should be.
Why Is Asking for Help So Difficult?
Lots of people find it incredibly difficult to ask for help from others. Either they suspect that they don’t really need help or they don’t have anyone that they think they can count on to provide that help. Asking for help feels like you’re admitting a weakness, which is another reason it’s so difficult. If you’re still having trouble with this, try journaling about how you feel when you think about asking for assistance.
Narrow Down Who Can Help
There are probably more people in your life and in your senior’s life who could help than you really think there are. Start making a list of friends, family members, and other sources of potential help. Even if what someone could help with is a highly-specialized task or activity, write it down. Then you can take a look at the bigger picture when you’re done.
Practice Your Approach
You need to start with the “who” so that you can focus your approach to asking for help later. Take a look at what specifically you’re going to ask for help with and then match that up to someone from your list. If you’re not even sure what you need help with, then pick a few people you want to ask. Practice what you’re going to say and if you feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and rephrase. When you feel comfortable, ask for real.
Hiring Help Is Definitely a Viable Approach
One of the biggest things that can hold caregivers back from asking for help is the fear that the people that they ask will all say no. That can absolutely happen. But that shouldn’t stop you from asking. And you shouldn’t feel embarrassed, either. There are other options. Hiring elder care providers, for example, could be the best thing that you do and you’ll have help you can rely on.
It’s not a failing on your part to need some extra help. There’s a lot involved when it comes to taking care of someone that you love, even if you’re only offering small amounts of help right now. Keep in mind that it’s not about who does what because it’s about making sure your senior has what she needs.