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4 Effective Ways to Ask for Help – and Get It
Posted By Sally Abrahms On February 20, 2013 @ 8:20 am In Take Care | Comments Disabled
Why is it so hard for family caregivers to ask friends and family for help? They may be in the throes of a crisis or bone-weary, but there’s something about that independent, I-can-do-it-myself American way that gets in our way. Caregivers, it’s OK – and wise – to let go. I can’t say it enough: You don’t, and shouldn’t, do all the caregiving.
I recently heard California bioethicist Viki Kind, a former family caregiver and author of the Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making, talk about why caregivers have such a hard time asking for what they need.
Kind described a friend who was the ultimate caregiver for her in-laws, parents and an ill daughter-in-law. In other words, her hands were more than full. Her family was together at a holiday party – Kind was invited – and guess who was hosting? Besides being a party planner, Kind’s friend was the go-to, primary caregiver. And yes, there were other family members around who could pitch in.
Were they selfish? Hard to say, but for some, it hadn’t crossed their minds to offer (don’t ask why). “Many are willing and can be trained, but we have to begin training them,” says Kind.
Her friend’s reasons for not requesting help: “they don’t want to, I don’t have time to teach them, they wouldn’t like what I need them to do.” Kind was mystified. “She wasn’t even asking!”
Kind has a four step-process for anyone (and who doesn’t?) who wants help but feels uncomfortable speaking up:
What techniques work for you? What have you found doesn’t work?
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