It’s Okay For Caregivers To Ask For Help
Updated: Sep 24, 2021
Most of us dislike asking for help. We don’t want to be a bother. We don’t want to appear needy. We don’t want to risk rejection or prying questions. But you know what? If you don’t voice what you want and need, no one will ever know, and they most definitely won’t offer the assistance.
There is probably not one mind reader in your network of support. As a caregiver, you must learn to speak up and ask for help. Your health and mental well-being depend on your voice and being able to articulate the help you need, when you need it, over and over.
Here are five easy steps for Caregivers to put you in the “asking comfort zone.”
Make a List: Start with a shortlist of what you need, maybe three things. Next to each item on the list, write three people who might be able to help. Don't forget organizations as well. There are many set up just for the help, and care caregivers need.
Be Need Specific: The more exact you can be about what you want or need, the quicker someone is to say yes. When you are vague, it scares people off. Not because they don’t want to help you but because they are worried they will disappoint you since they don’t know exactly what it is you are asking for.For example, "I need someone to sit with Dad from 2:30 to 4:30 on Tuesday (the date) while I get a pedicure." You will get a better and more positive response than if you say, "I need someone to come sit with Dad one day for a couple of hours."
Don’t Explain: Keep it short and to the point. There is no reason for a five-paragraph email explaining what you need, why you need it, where you are going, where it is located, how long it will take, how long it has been since you have gone, how long you have wanted it, etc. Stop. Just the facts in one sentence, if at all possible.
Be Gracious*: Say thank you. Even if someone can't help, say thanks. At least you have what you need out there in the Universe, and someone may come back and be able to offer that help or more at a later date. *See the five-paragraph reference above. Just say thank you. Please keep it simple; they know the heartfelt emotion behind the thanks. They don't need more.
Don’t Dwell, Move On: Stop fretting if they said no. It just wasn’t the right time. Stop fretting if they said yes. They mean it. Stop fretting about what they think about you. They aren't. Stop fretting you haven’t said thank you enough. You have. Stop fretting you are needy.
You DO need help; you are a caregiver. Once you have done it a few times, it gets easier, and you realize the world will not come to an end when you ask for help. In fact, just the opposite will happen. Life will go on, and it will be just a bit easier and/or nicer for you. You are a caregiver. You deserve it.
In her best-selling memoir Surviving Alzheimer's with Friends, Facebook, and a Really Big Glass of Wine, Dayna Steele candidly chronicled her mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s on Facebook with unfiltered observations and dark humor. Now, she brings that same candid outlook and humor to the play, The Woman in the Mirror. Audiences will be met with Steele’s signature refreshing honesty laced with biting humor that stands testament to her personal strength and resiliency in the face of extraordinary and unexpected circumstances. This is a story about surviving Alzheimer’s while keeping your humor and sanity intact.
When not writing, producing, and acting in a play, Dayna is a popular business success motivational speaker. This rock radio Hall of Famer is also the author of numerous books on success including Rock to the Top: It Now Goes to Eleven - What you can learn about success from the world's greatest rock stars!