While most caregivers are wonderful when it comes to taking care of others, taking care of themselves can be a completely different story. When a family member’s wellbeing is placed solely on your shoulders, the responsibility is often a heavy one. You want to do the very best you can to provide quality of life for your loved one, but your own personal health shouldn’t suffer for it. Every caregiver, at some point or another, is going to need help.
While some caregivers truly need other family members or loved ones to help out, they are often reluctant to ask for their assistance. Let’s look at the most common reasons caregivers ultimately refuse to ask for that much needed helping hand.
A Fear of Failure
Many caregivers are proud of the fact that they can handle all the responsibility of caring for a loved one. If you’ve never had to ask for help in the past, the thought of asking for help now might make you feel like you’re failing.
A Sense of Duty
In some cases, a caregiver may be reluctant to ask for help due to a sense of responsibility to the person they are caring for. If you feel a strong sense of duty toward your mother, for example, you may believe that reaching out for help could somehow look like you were shirking your responsibility.
A Fear of Causing Trouble
Thousands of caregivers suffer in silence, refusing to ask for help, for fear of bothering or burdening other family members. For example, let’s say you agreed to care for your father after he became ill. You may feel like asking your sister for help would but an undue burden on her, since you agreed to care for him in the first place.
The Reality of Caregiving
When you look at some of the reasons caregivers don’t ask for help, there is an obvious common denominator – fear. Though you may believe asking for help puts you in a bad light or creates an undue burden on others, the truth is that no one really expects you do this alone.
In truth, people are generally eager to lend a hand. But you have to let them know when their help is needed. Remember the old saying “it takes a village?” Apply that to caring for your loved one and ask your “village” to help out when you need it. You’ll ultimately find it makes you a better caregiver in the end.