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What’s OK and Not OK as a Caregiver

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What’s OK and Not OK as a Caregiver

By Cindy Laverty,

Everywhere I travel and meet caregivers, I see a common theme: Most family caregivers are afraid to ask for help. Somehow people think that they should just miraculously know how to care for an aging loved one.

Why would you know this? You did not receive PhD in Caregiving and your loved one poses challenges that you don’t have the answers to. As I’m listening to their challenges, frustrations, fears, sorrows, stress-induced situations and overall feelings of being overwhelmed, I find that many caregivers seem to need permission from a professional to ask for help. So very simply, I reach out and take the person’s hand, and give permission. Usually there is an instant look of relief in the person’s face. It’s incredible that giving someone permission to not be perfect helps relieve the pressure and the stress.

Questions to Help Mindful Caregivers to Find Emotional Balance

Caregivers frequently suffer from severely stressful emotions that can control and even ruin their lives. Sadly, these are the caregivers who, for whatever reason, have refused to ask for help or seek professional advice either from a medical doctor or a therapist. In order to manage the caregiving journey, you simply must step out of your comfort zone and find alternative methods for dealing with your personal situation.

The only way that family caregivers can sustain all that needs to be done to care for a loved one is to delegate responsibility and ask for help. It’s really simple and it changes lives.

Gratitude Gives You Wings: 6 Tricks For Rising Above Negativity
Finding and Maintaining Your Personal Space While Caregiving
Your Life: Pleasantly Purposeful, Or Dull Drudgery? You Decide

Why Your Ill Parent Fools the Doctor and What to do About It originally appeared on

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4:23AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013


3:45AM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

Thank you. This is very reassuring and helpful.

12:02AM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

good article and very good help - bless you

8:38PM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

great advice

1:24AM PST on Feb 17, 2012

I needed this information 6 years ago when my sister and I were the only ones taking care of my Mom (Alzheimer's).
I am copying this so that I will have it in the future. You never know what can happen.
Thanks so much.

6:15AM PST on Feb 1, 2012

Good article, thank you..

6:53PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

Great article! and sooo true, it's nice to see what we know as caregivers given ink!

2:26PM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Wow! This makes me feel a little better, since I admit to many of the emotions on the list.

11:33AM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Many of the items listed easily apply both to the givers AND receivers. We all have needs ... and gifts to share, interchangeable based on our position in the circle of life.

Just because our needs and abilities change with time in our life cycle, does not negate a loss of dignity and respect, to become only a chore that must be dealt with, often unfeelingly, begrudingly, or for-profit.

The desire to be included in life as much as possible to the end is universal ... and will, in time, be your desire as well. What do you feel is fair and righteous?

2:27AM PST on Jan 29, 2012

I am a carer for my husband, with a brain injury and have developed a carers information folder for new carers, one of the tips is an family and friends awareness page making them aware that the carer will probably not ask for help as they are expected to cope,and often friends and family wont to help but don't know how, this spells it out,
i do hope that in time it will help,as it has only just been launched.
to all carers you are doing an amazing job for little thanks ,so please contact your nearest Carers Centre and other carers for a chat and moan if needed it helps a lot
i have found that God Bless to all.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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