Asking for help as a family caregiver, even from friends and family, can be really difficult to do. And if you’re asking the wrong way, you might be having a tough time getting any help at all.
Make a List of What You Need Help Doing
Before you can ask for help effectively, you need to know what you need help with as a caregiver. Making this list helps you to focus on the actual tasks facing you and get them handled. Some of these tasks might be ones you realize only you can do. That’s fine, but make sure you’re putting everything on the list so you can hand some stuff over to someone else.
Prioritize that List and Attach Some Names
Take your completed list and start prioritizing it. Some tasks might be ones that you need occasional help with while others may be tasks that need immediate assistance. After you prioritize the tasks, start making notes about who might be able to help you and your senior with those tasks.
Set Some Time Aside to Have a Full Conversation
Call up one of the people on your list and set up a time to talk. You might feel more comfortable doing this in person, but that’s not always possible. Either way, make sure it’s a dedicated conversation that you’re prioritizing. This doesn’t have to be a production, but you don’t want to minimize it.
Ask Straight out for Help
You might feel nervous about asking for help, but that’s normal. Instead of hemming and hawing, get right to the point of the conversation. You need to be respectful of the other person’s time. Let the person know exactly what you need and if there’s a deadline or a time frame involved, make sure that you mention that as well. The key is to ask, “Can you help me with this?”
Take a “No” in Stride
You might be surprised to know that you’re going to hear “yes” as an answer more often than you expect. But don’t be thrown by a “no,” either. People have different demands on their time, just as you do. Take a negative answer in stride and move on down your list. Remember also that just because someone can’t help you now, that doesn’t mean they can never help you.
Remember that you’ve got other avenues for help besides friends and family members, too. Find out what agencies help the elderly in your area and determine how they can help and remember you can always hire elder care providers.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN WAKE FOREST, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.
Kathy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) who is active in several other senior related organizations, including Alzheimer’s State Champion program, Friends of the Northern Wake Senior Center board member, Ambassador for the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), Health Affairs Round Table (HART), and Senior Information Networking Group (SING).