By Cindy Laverty, AgingCare.com.
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.
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.
Why Your Ill Parent Fools the Doctor and What to do About It originally appeared on AgingCare.com.