Providing caregiver help isn't easy. Asking for help is just one more task in a long list of tasks. Learning how we can provide help is the topic of this podcast.
Because of their ever-increasing workload, 65% of caregivers are hospitalized or die before their loved one. For that reason, finding ways to provide help that works for them is crucial. Many caregivers don't ask for help for lots of reasons. Certainly, we can offer assistance without robbing them of their sense of self-reliance.
Help is frequently refused when adult children are offering. Although this is true, we can see that help is needed. Providing help in a way that will be accepted is our challenge to solve.
My conversation with Barbara Ivey was very insightful. Here are some of her tips.
Always make explicit, direct requests for help
Take what you can get
Respect your potential helpers
ALWAYS let your helpers know how much you appreciate them
How To Offer Help
Finding ways to offer support starts with observing. Equally important would be listening. Hearing and seeing tasks we can help with should make acceptance easier. Many of the easiest ways you can help will mean the most to an exhausted caregiver.
Once an assessment of needs is made, make a list of who you can call on for help. You can find the right person for each task when you keep this list in mind. For example, I am not good at dealing with bureaucracy. Two minutes of “this is how it's done” and I am ready for murder. Thankfully, my husband has much more patience than I do and can tackle bureaucratic phone calls for me.
Handling tasks that a caregiver isn't good at can be a lifesaver. Certainly, it helps keep caregiver stress under control. Another method would be to find ways to allow a caregiver time to do what they enjoy. Barbara's Dad liked to do yard work. Visiting her Mom while he worked in the yard solved two problems. Dad was able to tackle the yard work without the worry that Mom would have a problem.
If You Know a Caregiver that Needs Help
Call or stop by rather than sending an email. Bring along something that will jump-start the help, like a meal. Instead of saying “let me know what I can do” ask “what can I do right this minute to improve your day?”.
Set up a time to work with them on an exhaustive list of everything they do on a daily basis. Prioritize the list then ask if they know anyone who could tackle some of the tasks listed.
None of us plan ahead for the day we'll become a caregiver. Many times this happens because of an emergency, leaving us unprepared. Knowing ahead of time what services are available will make reaching out for help much easier.
When Your Parent's Won't Ask For Help (Article)
Reinforcements – How to Get People To Help You (book Barbara recommended)
It Takes A Village – (Senior Social Program with Kids)
Where Else To Find Fading Memories
Be sure to share this podcast with other caregivers! Thanks. You can find us on social media at the following links. Facebook Instagram Twitter
Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!