Do You Need Any Help? For Caregivers, It’s Complicated.

June 5, 2013

Help for Caregivers

 We are well aware of how hard it is to ask for the support you need.

This is a commonly shared sentiment (and reality) for many in the caregiving community. With so many daily projects, tasks and responsibilities, why is it so hard to pluck even one chore from the circus of chaos you’re juggling, hand it to a friend and say:

“Here! Take care of this, won’t you?”

It sounds so simple and yet it feels impossible to let go.

We’re caregivers because despite the challenges, the fatigue, the stress and the patience the job asks of us, we feel tied to our work (for one reason or another). It’s hard to step away even when we need a need a break.

If you’ve grown reliant on yourself, you’re not alone. Single handedly you see that all the medications, appointments, physical therapy, diet and dressings are taken care of.  Many of us have multiple systems and ways of doing things that we manage on the hard drives of our brains that it feels absolutely impossible to delegate, as much as we might want to.

All of this makes sense—the people we care for are people we either love and/or feel committed to. We wouldn’t easily hand over that responsibility if we weren’t certain that quality care would be provided. At the same time, we deserve the break, so begs the question: what do you do when someone wants to help out and you don’t know what to say?

There’s now a page on our website dedicated to the people who want to help. The new For Friends and Family category provides information on how folks who want to help can actually roll up their sleeves and lend a hand. It’s a helpful guide for the types of real support community members can provide that will make a difference in your life without tasking you to do any extra work describing it.

Enjoying a healthy meal might be a luxury these days you can’t afford.

At the end of the day, the last thing you probably want to do is spend another 45 minutes preparing another meal for yourself.

Now there’s a service called Sympathy Food, where someone can send you fresh, prepared, tasty meals to your doorstep that doesn’t take any extra time out you or your friend’s day (the food is professionally cooked and then flash frozen and easily reheats). This resource page include links to services like Sympathy Food to help deflect the energy you have to spend coordinating for help.

At The Caregiver Space, we want to make sure you get the most direct support you need. With this new page, the next time a friend says to you: “How can I help?”

You can say something like: “Thanks for offering. I’m feeling a little too overwhelmed to talk right now. If you want to help there’s a website I use with some great ways to offer support, could I e-mail you the link? Anything you find on there would mean so much!”

Remember, people want to help you on your terms, and for non-caregivers, anticipating what that looks like is really difficult. They need some direction and we provide that for you. Directing them to The Caregiver Space, is a reliable way to ask for the support you need.

Photo credit: hsld
Written by Jonah Okun
Jonah served as our Operations Director for two years. He holds a degree in Comparative Digital Communications and Happiness Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His intrigue in promoting well-being through new digital platforms pairs perfectly with the organizations goal of making online support for caregivers a reality. Prior to his time at The Caregiver Space, he spent seven years as a professional chef, baker and restaurant manager. He now happily resides in Brooklyn, New York.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for your words! How often I was in the situation of feeling too tired to think of any help. A great resource for helpful friends.


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