Let’s Talk About It (conclusion)
I asked for help. I had no other choice, but to call in the reserves from my hospital bed. They came through. I was and still am eternally grateful for those beautiful souls who came to the rescue.
Listen, if you are a caregiver build a team with family members. Create schedules; create a phone-tree. Using today’s technology you can have a team assembled and reachable in an emergency or when you simply need to take a break (everyone needs to take a break it is not a sin). Of course, some family members will not want to do the daily tasks, but it is important that you have people that are willing help when you need help. Did I say help enough times? Let me say it again, ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness; asking for help does not mean you can’t handle caregiving. It means you are human. You are one person. You cannot take care of other people and not take care of yourself. Remember from the last post “you have to put the oxygen mask on first, before you can help the person next to you.”
If you are overwhelmed and family members are unwilling to help there are agencies that can cover for you while you take a break. Go to https://www.aarp.org/caregiving they have great information and tools to help you get started building your network. In addition, check into your family member’s insurance. Just know that insurances vary, but they do have relationships with home care agencies that can help you when you need help.
I’m still recovering; I still have a lot on my plate caring for my mom and brother. It stretches beyond making sure they are bathed, fed, and medicated. I still have to buy groceries, get prescriptions filled, take them to doctor appointments, cook, and clean; but I’m not alone (not anymore). I learned the hard-way; I have help. Things are not perfect and I’m okay with that; I don’t try to micromanage how things are done when a family member pitches in; I let them run the show. They are in charge during that time not me. I know they know what times meals are eaten and they have medication schedules. It is not easy letting go, but I do; because I need to breath.
P.S. Don’t forget if you need ideas on how to get started or plan caregiving go to https://www.aarp.org/caregiving