Skip to content

Health & Balance

Font Size

Caregiver Tips - Caregiver Tip No. 3: Ask for Help

The best answer to the question, "Is there anything you need?" is "Yes."

"Yes, I need someone to stay here so I can go out." Or "Yes, I could really use a nap." Letting others help can make your caregiving easier. Know where to find help when you need it. The more support you have, the more successful you are likely to be.

Recommended Related to Mind, Body, Spirit

The Power of Praise

By Gretchen Rubin I'm a real gold-star junkie. One of my worst qualities is my insatiable need for credit; I always want the recognition, the praise, that gold star stuck on my homework. Recently, I was grumbling to my mother about the fact that some extraordinarily praiseworthy effort on my part had gone unremarked upon. My mother wisely responded, "Most people probably don't get the appreciation they deserve." That's right, I realized — for instance, my mother herself! I certainly don't give her...

Read the The Power of Praise article > >

When family or friends offer to lend a hand, be ready with specific ideas. Let them pick something they would like to do. For example, you could ask them to:

  • Pick up a few items at the grocery store.
  • Fix a meal or do some cleaning or yard work.
  • Stay with the person you care for so you can go out for a while.

There are other ways to find support. For example:

  • Hire a teenager or older adult to help for a few hours a day.
  • Find a grocery store that delivers.
  • Hire a home health aide or personal care assistant.
  • Sign up for homemaker or chore services or "Meals on Wheels."

Services that may be useful to caregivers include the following:

Respite care may be the most important service for caregivers. Respite services provide someone who will stay with the person while you get out of the house for a few hours. If the person you are caring for needs routine medical care, you may be able to arrange to have the person stay in a nursing home for a few days while you get away for a break.

Adult day centers are "drop-off" sites where a person who does not need individual supervision can stay during the day. This service is usually offered during working hours and may or may not be available on weekends. Meals, personal care services, and social activities are provided.

Adult foster care or board-and-care homes are private homes where older adults receive around-the-clock personal care, supervision, and meals. Some states require board-and-care homes to be licensed.

Nursing homes generally have two levels of care. Intermediate care includes assistance with using the toilet, dressing, and personal care for people who do not have serious medical conditions. Skilled nursing care is usually for people who have just come from the hospital or for others who have medical conditions that require more intensive nursing care. Some facilities have special units for people with dementia.

Hospice programs provide social, personal, and medical services for terminally ill people who wish to spend their remaining time at home or in an environment less formal than a hospital or nursing home.

Support groups give you a chance to discuss problems or concerns about caregiving with other caregivers.

To learn whether these services are available in your community, look under "Senior Citizen Services" in the Yellow Pages.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 06, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

woman in yoga class
6 health benefits of yoga.
beautiful girl lying down of grass
10 relaxation techniques to try.
 
mature woman with glass of water
Do we really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
coffee beans in shape of mug
Get the facts.
 
man reading sticky notes
Quiz
worried kid
fitArticle
 
Hungover man
Slideshow
Woman opening window
Slideshow
 
Woman yawning
Health Check
Happy and sad faces
Quiz
 
brain food
Slideshow
laughing family
Quiz