Is it Possible to Share the Workload of Caregiving?
So often caregivers do the lion’s share of what needs to be done because they just feel as if that’s what they need to do. You might also feel as if you don’t have the help or the support that you need. That might be true, but there could be other options available to you to fill in those blanks.
Determine Who Can Help
Do a brainstorming exercise where you write down everyone who might be able to help you and your elderly family member. Include family members, friends, neighbors, and anyone else you can think of, like the person who handles your senior’s lawn care already. If you think that you don’t have anyone who can help, this brainstorming exercise can help to open up your eyes to what’s already right there in front of you.
Let Your Senior Do the Things She Can Do
Are you doing too much for your aging family member? The reality is that you might be. There might be some things that you do faster or with less effort, but if your senior can still do those things, let her do them. This helps her to feel empowered and also allows her to hold onto the skills and the strengths that she still has for as long as possible. If you suspect that you might be doing too much for her, you probably are.
Learn How to Delegate to Other People
It takes some time and some patience to learn to delegate to other people. As you do this more often, it’s going to get easier for you to do. If you’re having a hard time with this, start with small assignments. Hand those off to people that you trust and then let those people handle those tasks. If you struggle with control or with issues involving having tasks done the “right” way, you may find that this takes longer than you expect it to take.
Reassess Your Solutions Periodically
The reality is that circumstances change. For instance, you might have a sibling who was able to help with meal preparation before, but now she can’t. You may need to find another solution. This is when reassessing your situation can help you to spot holes and get them filled. Remember that home care providers can help you with a variety of different tasks and they’re excellent companions for your senior, too.
Sharing the workload of caregiving is totally possible, but you have to be open to all the options available to you. Not everyone has friends and family who can help and that might be disheartening, but there are other solutions that you can put into place. You don’t have to go through caregiving alone.