If you’re a caregiver you are likely in a constant state of motion. Sometimes it can be close to impossible just to catch your breath. Here are some great tips on smart things you can when you are ready to reach out for help:
- Get clear about what you want and need
- Get clear about the way you want people to offer help and support
- Set your privacy settings; let people know your limits and boundaries.
- Tell people up front if you are mot comfortable talking about your loved one’s medical condition to honor his/her privacy wishes.
- Let people know your overall medical/healing goal for the person you care for.
- Understand that people will react differently to your news and unexpected people will rise to the occasion, while other you thought would be there may fade away.
- Forgive people in advance for their clumsiness, awkwardness, unconsciousness, and stupidity.
- Forgive people for not showing up. It’s not about you, it’s about them and the other things going on in their lives.
- Create a designated team captain.
- Realize that only you are in your shoes; no one else knows what you are experiencing and need unless you tell them.
- Let people know how they can best speak to the person you care for about her/his medical condition and care.
- Let people know that you prefer them to directly as you how they can help. For example ~ “what can I do for you right now or this week,” rather than “let me know when you need me to do something for you.”
Try to avoid doing these things:
- Assume it’s best for you to tough it out alone.
- Assume that other people know what you need.
- Focus on not hurting other people’s feelings.
- Be afraid of asking too much of other people.
- Think that asking for support shows weakness on your part.
- Take help and support on any terms people offer it.
- Take other people’s lack of help as a personal affront.
- Assume you must let go of your personal privacy and boundaries during this time.
- Feel like you have to suffer fools.
- Let people wear you down with unwanted information and advice.
- Assume tat by opening up to support, you have to be open with everyone.
- Think that only you can get everything done correctly.
- Assume that you won’t get burned out later, because you are able to handle things well now.