If you are a caregiver, you know the pile of responsibilities that are associated with the role. Thinking that you can carry out all the caregiving responsibilities without suffering a caregiver burnout is like getting into the water and thinking that you will not get wet! It is vital to get the support of family members when you are the primary caregiver of a loved one. For centuries, family members have taken care of each other in case of illness or disabilities. The question is how because they may be reluctant to help you. So, here are the top five ways to get family welfare support.
Keep a list of tasks
Prepare a list to develop clarity about the tasks in which you can seek the support of your family members. Think twice before leaving anything even if it seems a mundane task. Caregiving is a challenging job. It can be taxing on your physical and emotional health. Your list may include tasks such as the following ones:
- Grocery shopping
- Payment of utility bills
- Refilling prescriptions
- Meal preparation
- House cleaning
- Organizing family get-togethers
- Match tasks with interests or abilities
Try to match the tasks with the abilities or interest of each of your family members. Maybe your elder sister doing a well-paid job can help you in paying the medical bills or your cousin can be more than willing to do the monthly grocery shopping. It can be also possible that your old aunt may show interest in assisting you in meal preparation. The possibilities are endless. So, you have to think and make the request accordingly.
Share important information
Sit with all the family members and share with them all the vital information about the family member who needs caregiving. This should include the physical and mental health of the care recipient, as well as, his or her daily routine, number of doctor appointments in a week or month, list of medications, and so on. Unless you share important information with them, they will not understand the gravity of the situation. Keeping them not informed also implies that you don’t want their involvement in caregiving or treatment.
Initiate a one-to-one conversation
Choose a family member who as per you can most probably help you in your caregiving journey. Now, honestly tell him or her that you are in dire need of help. Make sure that the person does not become argumentive or defensive. Keep your cool even if the response is not at par with your expectations and move on to the next family member who can be a helping hand.
Be gracious and stay focused
Your focus is to get caregiver support. If any of your family members are responding in harsh words, don’t lose your cool. Instead, be gracious to them that give their valuable time to listen to your request. Remember, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. So stay focused.
Caregiver burnout is real! So, don’t idle if you are not getting any support from your family members. Reach out to more people such as your friends and colleagues. You can also seek assistance from various caregiving support resources or can join a community of caregivers.