Raise your hands, how many of you have made this statement (out loud)…..”I need help!”? Moreover, how many of you have said to yourself……”It’s my responsibility to take care of this. I don’t want to burden anyone else.”
In her article; Overcoming Caregiver Catch-22, author Joanne Gouaux brings light to this critical topic of not reaching out when you need to. “Being thrust into the role of caregiver is something that can happen to anyone. How we respond when we’re in the thick of it can have a lasting positive or negative impact on the arc of our future. One way to ensure caregiving doesn’t pull us under is to put on our life vest and loosen the white-knuckle grip we have on the rope of total self-sufficiency.”
Many people in day-to-day life have difficulty asking for help. I have my moments, trust me. However, there is something about being a family caregiver that we tend to take ownership and where reaching out is tabu. All completely understandable, but then who may be at greater risk here? When you haven’t stepped out and asked for help, you begin to implode on some level, and your loved one ultimately suffers as well.
Ask for help. Whether it is having groceries delivered (there are services all over that will do that), having a neighbor run to pick up dinner or hiring a part-time caregiver, ask.
Social isolation can be a dominant force in the life of a family caregiver as well so finding ways to connect with others is crucial. Whether you take time to attend social events or come to one of our walks if you are in the Bay Area, please, please do that for yourself. I know the life of a family caregiver has many levels to it, I’ve been through it and talk to enough of you to know things haven’t changed. Are you willing to take care of yourself, too?