Sometimes, it is easier to let your pride get the best of you, and to take on all of the work and stress that goes with caregiving. In fact, it may even make you feel as though you are accomplished as you take on multiple appointments and errands in a day. Unfortunately, the excessive amount of work that goes into caregiving can also lead to burnout. It can cause you to become overwhelmed, and lead to illness in yourself. This is why it is okay to ask for help.
Everyone needs a day off, or a break from the mundane aspects of their lives. Sometimes, just some help with the tasks that round out each day can relieve some of the stress that seems to be weighing you down. Every caregiver should have people they can count on to be there when needed. If you do not have this, find these people now. Here are some ways to begin this process.
1. Family. Now, I know that not every family is equal in caregiving. I have seen how this affects caregivers personally, and it is heartbreaking. However, this is the best place to start. Figure out what family members are there to help, even if it is only once in a while, and make a list with their possible availabilities. In fact, you can even call and ask if they can commit to provide relief once a week or even just once a month.
2. Friends. If you have friends who could be there in an emergency, or when you need a little relief, make note of them on your list so you can call on them when you need them.
3. Neighbors. Try to find at least one neighbor who can be trusted to check on your house or take on a task if you need them. This is critical when you spend a great deal of time in hospitals with your loved one and may need someone to check on your home.
4. Outside services. Some communities, insurances, and government agencies provide various types of services to help caregivers receive help with tasks and even to provide respite care. Check into any resources you may have in your area.
Finally, realize that you do not have to do everything, and it is okay to ask for help when you need it. People may not always be there, but you may be surprised by the ones who are.