November 13, 2013

Caregivers Accepting Help from Family and Friends

As a new caregiver for a loved one, you may find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the new responsibilities you have. Caring for an elderly loved one who is approaching end-of-life can be rewarding and exhausting. In order to avoid caregiver stress and exhaustion, seek help from family members and friends.


Learn about your loved one’s current health status and what actions need to be taken in order to keep him or her comfortable. Take your parent to his or her primary care provider and get an update on the next course of action. Once you understand what steps need to be taken in order to keep your loved one pain-free, you will know how to instruct others to help as well.


If you have taken on the responsibility of primary caregiver for your aging parent, communicate with your siblings about the situation. Your siblings may live far away from you and your parent. If this is the case, ask them to help out financially. If your siblings live nearby, create a schedule and set up shifts so that you can take well-deserved breaks.

Set Limits

Set limits for yourself when it comes to caring for your parent. Know and accept that you cannot do everything. This is OK. When you begin to feel stressed or overwhelmed, call a friend and ask if she can come by and help with the laundry. Or call your brother and ask if he and his wife can make your parent’s dinner. Small errands or chores can go a long way and will really help ease the stress you may be feeling.

Knowing that you have the support of your family and friends when it comes to caring for your parent can be comforting. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Many understand the amount of work that is involved with full-time caregiving. And remember, know when to say no when your limits have been reached.