When And How To Ask For Help
Life is full of twists and turns. As the general population of the United States is getting older, many of us find ourselves in a role that we did not expect, but graciously accept. Balancing entry into this new role can be overwhelming to even the most "together" individual. But how and when should you ask for help?
Recognizing that you need to step back and ask for assistance should not be met with shame. It may be difficult, but by taking a moment to realize that a helping hand is needed, you benefit both yourself and your loved one. Here are some thoughts to consider when you are not sure where to start when asking for help.
It’s Different For Everyone
The timing is up to you to consider bringing in resources to alleviate your personal situation. Caregiving responsibilities can often affect various aspects of your day-to-day. Personal relationships become strained or productivity may slip at work. Finding balance when you can with trusted partners, family, or friends can lead you to living a more balanced life and put you in a better frame of mind to care for your loved one.
These are signs to be mindful of when signals arise that it’s time to ask for help:
Where To Turn
Not everyone has access to the same resources and support, however finding what works best for you is important. You are not alone and resources are there to help. In speaking with several caregivers, we found some commonality in where to turn.
Family and Friends are great, and probably the easiest to rely on because you know and trust them. Taking stock in the people in your life and planning the best way they can offer help is a great start. Sometimes just having the small things handled can add up, alleviate stress, and take some of the burden off your shoulders.
Qualified individuals that are trained to help with caregiving can bring benefit and you may learn helpful techniques when dealing with difficult transitions. They bring a knowledge of what to do and can also work towards improved mental health for your loved one by not being absolutely emotionally invested. While professional services range in pricing, financial assistance may be available and may be covered by insurance. Don't be afraid to ask for references or a trial period. Easing your mind when dealing with strangers can often ease the mind of your loved one.
Tips For Asking
We often find that the people closest to us may not be completely aware of what the issues are. Be honest and open with your family and explain what you need help with. Be specific as well. Dropping hints or being subtle will not yield anything but confusion. Instead of saying, “I need help,” define the task you need help with, and then directly define the timeframe the help is needed.
Value their perspective and opinion during these conversations. Have open dialogue and ask how they would like to contribute. Be open to what they are willing to do and don't assume their comfort level with the situation is the same as yours.
Remember - It’s Not Easy
You know what you are up against. You also know when the time is right for you. Assuming everyone around us can see we need help is not the right thought process. If you have open conversations with those around you and research resources with intention, this can bring you the assistance that you may need.
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