Asking for help from Family and Friends
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- Respite Care , Family and Friends
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Asking for Respite Help from Family and Friends
The combination of the responsibility and the physical and emotional demands of caring can seem overwhelming. But you are not alone; friends and family can provide support for you and your loved one, so that you can have a well-deserved break.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Many carers don’t want to bother or burden other people and simply struggle on alone. However regular rest is important for your health and your ongoing ability to care. Let others know that you’d appreciate assistance and accept any offers gratefully. Remember that friends and family care for your loved one too. They may like the opportunity to spend time with them and value being a support to you. Helping others can also make us feel good about ourselves.
So, if someone asks "is there anything I can do?” don’t do the British thing of smiling and reassuring them that everything’s fine. Instead be honest "I do find it exhausting at times, it would be wonderful if you could sit with them so I could get out for a bit, what day is good for you?”
Make a plan
Some members of the family or friends may be happy to sit with your loved one for short times while you nip to the shops, exercise or go out with friends. Others may be willing to offer a longer period of respite while you go on holiday. By all working together you can share the care and ensure that no one feels overburdened.
Keep in touch
Make sure everyone is up to date with your loved one’s current health and care needs, so that they fully understand the situation. Having an appreciation of all the difficulties and demands may make them more willing to help out. When you’re too busy to meet up or chat on the phone, social media can be a wonderful way of keeping in contact.
Regular caring can stress your family and friends too, so understand and be responsive to their worries. Remember that everyone will have their own style of caring and their own habits and quirks around the house. Try to relax and accept your differences and appreciate the assistance.
Planning and preparation
Caring for someone can be frightening, especially if they have complex health needs. Make sure that anyone who is providing care has all the information they need. Clear records of any dietary requirements, medication and self-care guidance will really help. An emergency contact list should be close at hand, including your GP, family and friends that live close by and of course your own number for any emergencies.
Carer groups can be a fantastic source of support and information. By listening to how other families cope, you may discover new ways of sharing care and maybe get a little reassurance that everyone else is experiencing the same stresses and strains as you are.
Consider a caring co-operative
Think about getting together with other caregivers and their families. By working together you can share resources and ensure that everyone gets some time to themselves.
A little extra help
Think about employing a carer to come into the home and offer support with anything from practical chores to self-care. Some professional assistance, even for short times, can provide comfort and reassurance to your friend or family member, especially during longer periods of respite.
Caring can be a tough. But keeping a loved one safe and well is also hugely rewarding. By sharing the burden and the benefits of caregiving you can all stay healthy and happy in the knowledge of a job well done.
Find out more about the range of respite care services that we offer throughout London.