Even when they’re up to their necks in responsibilities, caregivers often decline help when
it’s offered. Pride, independence, and a sense that they’re the only ones who can “do the job
right” keep many caregivers isolated and overwhelmed.
Learn where to get the information you need.
Your loved one may also resist the idea of another person’s help, but having some assistance
can serve as a healthy reminder -- to your loved one and yourself -- that you provide care as
a choice, not as an obligation. Learning to rely on others (just as they rely on you) can ease
your load and help you keep your balance.
Start by listing all the things that must be done during the course of a typical week, as
well as potential helpers. Next, identify which tasks should be shared, which can be safely
done only by you, and which, if any, you might consider paying others to do. Keep in mind
that the most beneficial type of help is an easily repeatable task (such as a ride on
Tuesdays or a meal every Friday).
Take one of the simpler tasks, match it to a potential helper, and ask. Don’t get
discouraged if you get rejected at first. Keep in mind that the goal isn’t to get a personal
favor, but to establish a better, healthier situation for your loved one and yourself.
Coordinating friends and family members can take some effort, but you’ll quickly learn whom
you can rely on. Coordination tools such as
AGIS Family CareGroups can make
it easy to delegate and track tasks.
Emotional support is just as important as practical help. A local support groups can let you
draw upon the experience and sympathy of other family caregivers, who might also provide
practical advice about specific problems.
Many religious organizations provide volunteer help. A wide range of
can also help. If professional care is an option, look into the
available. If you have a job in addition to caregiving, learn about
employer programs that can help working caregivers.
Content shown was developed in collaboration between AGIS and National Family Caregivers Association.