Sue Ryan, author of Our Journey of Love, 5 Steps to Navigate Your Caregiving Journey, shares that life as a Caregiver makes you feel like you should have a PhD in whatever the diagnosis is of the person you are Caring for. Having the knowledge and support through the journey can make you a healthier Caregiver and that in turn will allow your loved one to have resources and the care that they need because you took the first step-and you turned to seek help.
Professional Help – Acknowledging that you need help, will allow you to ask questions you had not asked before, or did not know to ask previously. In the early stages of Caregiving, it is hard to decipher what resources are available that can help you. Just knowing that help is available is a relief, and the experts that can help you with those resources will be there to help you navigate this journey.
Help from Friends/Family – Many times friends and family want to help, but they have no way of knowing what would be helpful—unless you tell them. Delegating responsibilities, whether big or small can help make your Caregiving experience go a lot smoother. When someone calls asking what they can do-find something. Can they help provide a meal? Can they run a few errands for you? Can they sit with your loved one so you can have an hour or two to yourself? Can they come over for a cup of coffee so you have a shoulder to cry on or an ear to bend?
Make a list of what you think would ease your day-to-day life as a Caregiver and then reach out to those in your circle that you think could help-and start delegating. Help is all around you-you just have to ask!
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