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Top Tips to Help Aging Family Members- July 2012
July 12, 2012


No Time to Take Care of Yourself?

Self care, caring for the caregiver, put on your oxygen mask first…There’s a lot of advice out there telling you that you need to take care of yourself to be a successful caregiver. I’ve dispensed a fair amount of this advice myself over the years.

So let’s be real. Of all the things you do when caring for a family member, remembering and finding the time to care for yourself is one of the hardest. The nature of caregiving is self-sacrificing. There is something in your personality that calls you to help your family member. Making time for yourself is a challenge.

Sometimes being told that you need to make time for yourself, can feel like a slap in the face. During my caregiving years, I got upset if anyone implied I wasn’t coping very well. So where am I leading with all this?

While taking care of yourself is necessary, it brings up the other side of taking a break which is asking for help. If you’re like me you could have two for one, likes to help and be needed and hates to ask for help. Your circumstances or your relationships may make it hard to ask for help too.

Asking for help has it’s own pitfalls. Your helper may let you down. You’ll line up some help and then the person fails to show up or runs late. Your helper does something wrong or does things differently than you do with a negative outcome for you or your family member. Your family member only wants your help and refuses the help or care of others.

So let’s set some expectations…having help will not be perfect, there will be bumps along the way. Many times it may be seem easier to just give up and give in and not keep looking or asking for help. If not for your own sake but for the sake of your family member, don’t give up looking for help, respite and time for selfcare.

Asking for Help Quick Tips

Ask early and often, this helps your family member accept help from someone other than you.

Be very clear about what you expect and need.

Express your gratitude when things go well.

Consider re-trying solutions that didn’t work in the past. For example, your family member may not have agreed to attend a senior center or adult day program in the past but now that circumstances have changed, try again.




Is it Time to Discuss Your Eldercare Challenges with an Expert?

Have your caregiving responsibilities left you stressed, angry or feeling guilty?

Do you suspect that your family member needs help and don't know where to start?

Whether you are an experienced caregiver verging on burnout or a new caregiver who is not sure how to help a family member, you can benefit from Eldercare Coaching.

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