Monday, June 2, 2014

Can I Help? Why Yes, You Can!

At last! A solid answer to that question, "Is there anything I can do to help?" This seems like a great idea; check it out.

https://alzheimers.lotsahelpinghands.com/caregiving/home/#.U4v5KQOHm9A.facebook

It is an on-line service that allows your friends and family to schedule their own efforts to give you a helping hand. Apparently you need to be a member of Alzheimers.org to use it. This fits in with my post on technology and caregiving. There are lots of good apps, programs, on-line services, etc. that can help with a difficult job.

As is says on the home page, the next time someone offers vaguely to help, get their email and have them sign in to this service!
                                                                      
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Even if you don't want to use a service or setup like this, it is worth thinking about the whole concept of help. I know that people often ask if they can help, or say, "Give me a call if I can do anything." It is true that not everyone means it when they say it - sometimes it is a reflexive action. I also know that most people genuinely do mean it and really would like to help, they just don't know how.

I am constantly telling caregivers to look for help, to accept help, to even (horrors!) ask for it. And I tell them the best way to do it is to be specific. Assign people tasks - tell them one thing you need them to do or pick up or prepare, one call that you really need them to make, one meal you need them to make. This makes others feel useful, it ensures you get done what you need to get done, and it can help you ease into the whole messy business of asking for, and accepting, help.

Speaking as someone who really hates asking for help, and is really bad at accepting it when it is offered, this can be a tough issue. I don't want to bother them, or I don't want to be needy, or I want to prove that I'm capable and independent. I have had to train myself over the years to accept help from my husband and my friends - because I really do need it, but also because I know they want to give it. You may be really good at giving and helping and doing for others, like I am, but sometimes other people want to be able to give to you. I have to keep reminding myself of this.

And besides, we all need help. We need to work on doing away with the whole "needy" label and just be human. If it makes it easier, use a service like the one above, or develop your own. You caregivers are doing an amazing, difficult job and you need some help; so ask, or let others do for you. Believe me when I say, I've been where you are, clenching my teeth around the words, "Yes, thank you, I do need some help."

1 comment:

  1. I really respect what you are doing for your family. Never be afraid to ask for help. Have you ever considered hiring a house cleaning service to make things easier? I use one for my home in Manhattan and it saves me a lot of time and stress. Good luck and bless you!

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