One of the New Year’s resolutions that comes highly recommended for caregivers is to ask and accept more help. It’s a difficult thing to do at times, as caregivers don’t like to feel inadequate. However, asking for help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it’s extremely healthy to accept help from others because it reminds you that you are not alone. You can use this time to take small breaks to recharge and be a better caregiver for your loved one.
You might be wondering where you can go for help. Do you ask family? Friends? The best approach is to build a caregiving team that you can rely on regularly.
What is a Caregiving Team? How Do You Get One Started?
A caregiving team is exactly as it sounds – a team of people who offer support to an individual, which in this case, is your senior loved one. Anyone can be on the team, but make sure you send an invite. Some people might not know that you need their help, and your invitation will make it clear that you do.
Send an email or a text message, whatever is most comfortable for you. Write a short message about why your loved one needs the support, how you can benefit from the extra help and which roles you need to fill.
Dividing up tasks is helpful because people can choose what they want to do and know what is expected of them. Your brother might not mind handling the bills, while your cousin might enjoy visiting once a week with a hot meal. Another benefit to splitting up tasks is that it avoids confusion.
Communication is Essential for Any Good Team
To be a successful team, keep the lines of communication open. It’s a good idea to meet regularly, which can be done over coffee on Saturday mornings or through Skype. The purpose is to make sure that everyone is on the same page, completing their tasks and noting any concerns.
Even the strongest caregiving teams need help sometimes, so create a list of resources that you can depend on. A geriatric care manager, estate planning lawyer and respite care service are all examples.
There will be times when people are sick, on vacation or need a break and you will need to fill in. Pull from outside help rather than yourself. Otherwise, you might get into the habit of trying to do everything on your own again.