Suddenly you’re a caregiver. It’s an unfortunate accident or an untimely diagnosis and instantly, two lives (or more), are forever changed. As a family caregiver, you are immediately thrust into a variety of roles ―all at once ― without any formal training. Juggling life, a career, kids and grandkids at the same time while in the middle of caregiving is a daunting task. But are we prepared to care?
Caregiving in an intense experience that often asks you to give up things you love, to care for the one you love. Caregiving is not a journey you can do alone, however many caregivers do venture out on their caregiving journey alone. Our western culture prides itself on getting the job done without asking for help; yet when it comes to caregiving, it takes a team to care. As a caregiver myself, I had to learn this lesson the hard way. When I (finally) reached out for help, I was amazed at the comfort and care WE BOTH received in the process.
Create A Care Team
Ask For Help: Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. What is the worst thing that can happen when you ask for help? You get turned down, or you get help! Help is a good thing when help is organized to meet the needs of you and your care-partner.
Communicate: It is essential to have a conversation with your care-partner about who they would want to visit and/or to help with tasks while you are not available. Finding comfort in compatible care will be enhanced with input from your care-partner.
Tasks: Be judicious in selecting the right people for the right task. Each member of your care-team will come to the squad with different talents and skills. Match those talents and skills to the individuals on the care-team.
As our caregiving journey continued to unfold, I was grateful for the professional help we received from one of our local home health care agencies. One of the important components that made our experience comfortable was the ability of the agency to find a compatible match for our family. Once the relationship was established, I never once had to worry about my care-partner because I knew he was in good hands.
Finding comfort by finding compatible care is rooted by understanding that asking for help is not a sign of weakness; but a sign of strength.
Christopher MacLellan, best known as the Bow Tie Guy, is the founder of the Healing Ties website and podcast. His personal caregiving journey informs his mission to equip fellow caregivers as they navigate their own story.