Caring for Aging Parents Series: Caring for the Caregiver … Ask for Help!

Hopefully you’re finding some useful tips and advice in our series of blog posts on Caring for your Aging Parents or other aging loved ones.   

Today, I’d like to focus on the importance of asking for help, and how to successfully get the help that you need.  All too often, caregivers (especially women), are hesitant to communicate effectively and directly to get the support that we need from our family and friends.  Sometimes family dynamics are such that the bulk of caregiving responsibility falls on one person who ends up resenting other family members.

Nothing is more important than self-care so that you can be at your best for your loved one.  In addition to taking care of your own physical and emotional needs (maintaining healthy diet and exercise habits, keeping up with your own medical appointments, and managing stress), it’s important to ask for the help that you need.

Here are some tips for asking for and getting the right support:

1)     Don’t wait until you are overwhelmed and too fatigued to see your way out of the situation.  Reach out for support early.

2)     Get rid of the guilt of asking for help.  No one can do this successfully on their own, and you are not showing weakness or incapability by reaching out for support.

3)     Avoid getting “help” that creates more work for yourself.  If someone wants to provide support and you’re unable to give them something specific to do, you may end up getting help that is actually a detriment to you.

4)     To avoid #3, create and maintain a list of things that you do that could be delegated to someone else who wants to help.  Errands, cooking, cleaning, transportation are all great examples.  Have the list ready when you get offers for help. Consider not only what people can do for your loved one, but what they can do for you.

5)     Be direct and don’t be wishy-washy when making requests.  If you soften them with language like “It’s not a big deal, but…” or “It’s just a thought,” it makes it easier for someone to say no.

Take the first step today.  What’s something YOU can delegate or get assistance with? What’s your plan for asking for help?


Missed part of the series? Click Here … for links to all posts in the Caring For Aging Parents Series or click on the links below …

Caring for Aging Parents Series:

Having that (very important) Conversation with Your Parents

Demystifying EOB’s

Collecting Critical Documents

Relocating & Downsizing

Managing Finances

Image used under License Agreement: ©Silvina Rusinek /Stockfresh

About Wendy Buglio

Wendy is the CEO & Owner of Living Peace, a Certified Professional Organizer who has earned both Level II CD (Chronic Disorganization) and ADD Specialist designations from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. She is dedicated to discovering what’s most important and then developing strategies to get everything else out of the way. With her non-judgmental approach and calming energy (combined with a healthy dose of reality and a sense of humor), she works with clients to make decisions and take action to create desired change. She applies this approach to physical objects in residential and office environments, but also to intangible “clutter” – such as tasks, obligations and goals – helping to maximize her clients’ productivity and organization. Some of her favorite clients have ADD – something that Wendy sees as an asset to creative thinkers and entrepreneurs! Wendy lives in Arlington, MA with her husband Mike (bookstore owner), their 7-year-old son Tony, and rescue dog Rosie. In her free time, she loves to entertain and plan events, visit Downeast Maine, and is a competitive fantasy football player. She is a repeat 39-mile walker for the Avon 39, The Walk to End Breast Cancer.

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