Caregivers: It’s OK to Ask for Help
If you are caring for an elderly loved one, you want them to have the best and most comfortable quality of life possible. It’s perfectly natural, not to mention admirable, to want to take care of a family member of advanced years or diminished state. BUT it’s also perfectly natural to feel overwhelmed by the enormous obligations attached to the caregiver role.
Despite the fact that many are in way over their heads, caregivers are commonly reluctant to seek outside assistance. Some caregivers simply don’t want to admit they need help; they feel that would be tantamount to admitting they failed as a caregiver. Even when they are able to find safe and reputable help, many caregivers are hesitant to reach out for assistance.
Get Help, So You Can Continue to Help
- Although you may feel as though you’re doing the right thing, caregivers who fail to acquire the necessary help can drastically reduce the quality of their loved one’s care and expose them to undue illness or injury. For example, if you are exhausted – between taking care of your immediate family, working and providing care for an elderly loved one – it stands to reason that something is going to fall through the cracks.
- It’s not unusual to feel a sense of obligation for your loved one, as well as feelings of guilt when you believe you can do more or a better job. These feelings of guilt can turn into resentment when you find yourself thinking “look what I have to give up” and “I have to do everything”.
- Take care of yourself so you can care for your dad, mom or other elder family member. Caregivers get so immersed in the person they are helping, they sometimes ignore their own health. In fact, research shows that 30 percent of caregivers die before the individuals for whom they’re caring. These numbers are attributable to neglect of their own health, stress and contagious diseases.
Bottom Line: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is no shame in taking a “time out” for yourself. Doing so will allow you to recharge and be an even better caregiver to all who need you.
As an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer, Barry Sugarman has been helping clients get justice for their elderly loved ones for years. If you can’t afford to act as your loved one’s primary caretaker and are concerned about their safety in their nursing home, call him today.