Are you taking care of your older adult all by yourself?
You are not alone. The majority of family caregivers don’t receive any help from their relatives.
Taking care of your loved one entirely by yourself can harm your health. Caregiving often causes stress, which leads to various diseases and conditions. Getting another pair of hands to help is often needed but extremely difficult. It seems that everyone avoids giving you a hand, and no one asks whether you can manage everything all by yourself.
We will try to find the reasons behind it and answer why relatives avoid caregiving.
They Are Scared
People can be afraid of doing something wrong, as you probably know. You were probably in the same position at the beginning, and it took some time to find your feet. When you do something for the first time, such fear is normal. If that is the case with your family members, assure them you will help them in the beginning.
Introduce them gradually to your responsibilities regarding taking care of the older adult. Go step by step and supervise them at the beginning. This way, they will be more confident and more willing to help you.
Perhaps you can’t determine if fear is the reason why your relatives avoid caregiving. In this case, ask them to tell you openly why they leave caregiving on your shoulders. Explain to them gently that you can’t manage everything by yourself.
They Believe You Can Do Everything by Yourself
It sounds a little selfish, but it is true. Relatives may believe you don’t need a hand because they’ve never been asked, and it seems you accomplish everything without any problems. Don’t judge them, they don’t know how much energy caregiving requires. If they are not spending every day with you, they are unaware of all the effort.
Let them know that although everything appears to under control, it isn’t. Tell your relatives about what you are going through. However, be careful of your tone. You don’t want to judge them for not helping you. Instead of releasing all your stress on them, make them understand how you feel in a calm tone. Think about what their strengths are and what they can help you with. Ask them to assist you first with a particular task, and if they agree, give them more tasks over time.
People Don’t Know How to Help
Some people simply don’t know how to help. They are usually ignorant of all the tasks and problems. Even if people know what the problems are, some of them don’t know how to solve them.
When this is the case, it is better to be as specific as possible. Need a hand? Tell your family member to come at a specific time and place. Provide a brief explanation of what you need them for and ask if they have any questions. Giving detailed explanations multiple times can be annoying, but have in mind how much you could use an additional pair of hands.
These would be the top reasons why relatives avoid caregiving.
If you are stressed and starting to feel the symptoms of caregiver burnout, don’t hesitate to ask for help. React before you burn out. You won’t do any good to you, or the people around you, if you are anxious every day.
Let your family members know how much you would appreciate their help and how much that would mean to you. Explain the whole situation and how much you struggle to accomplish your daily tasks.
There will surely be someone to give you a hand.
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