Talking to other family members about offering more caregiving help can really do a number on your nerves. It’s not an easy conversation and you’re not guaranteed to get what you want from it.
Get Specific with Yourself First
Before you start looking for help from other family members, sit down with a piece of paper and some quiet moments and get specific. First, write down what tasks you really need help with or that you find overwhelming. Once you have a full list, go back through and be honest about which ones you would willingly let someone else handle. You might start to realize that you’re deliberately holding onto far more than you realize.
Explain Your Feelings to Your Other Family Members
Once you’re ready with the tasks that you know you can delegate to someone else, it’s time to talk to your other family members. Start out by explaining how you’re feeling. You might express that you’re overwhelmed, exhausted, or any number of other feelings. The key here is that your other family members don’t know what it’s like to be your loved one’s primary family caregiver, so they probably honestly don’t realize how it affects you to have little to no help.
Really Listen to Their Responses
After you’ve shared how you’re feeling, really listen to the response from your other family members. They might feel overwhelmed with situations in their own lives or they may have felt all along that you didn’t want help. Misunderstandings are a big source of people pulling away from a situation. Your other family members might also be afraid of doing something wrong when it comes to caring for your loved one. There are any number of reasons they may not be offering help more.
Give up Expecting People to Do Equal Labor
The bottom line is that no matter how well the conversation goes, you’re likely not going to experience a situation in which your other family members do much more than a little bit of what you need help doing. If that’s your expectation, you’ll need to adjust it. Consider hiring senior homecare providers instead to fill in those gaps. They can handle some of the tasks to free up your time and energy.
Going into these conversations with the right approach can be more effective that you might believe.