If you're the sole caregiver for a family member in your life that's elderly or ill, reaching out and asking for help can be difficult. You may feel as though asking for help or hiring supportive in home care to help take care of your loved one is irresponsible of you, a sign of weakness, or you may feel guilty, like you don't love your elder enough. While it may be hard to accept, that's not the right way to think about it. If you think you need help but you're feeling too badly to do it, here are three reasons why you should.
You Have a Life
One of the most common arguments for taking care of your loved one, especially if they're a parent, is that they took care of you when you were young. However, there's a difference. Responsible parents know that children take a lot of time and effort to raise over the years. If your family member suddenly needs your help due to illness, weakness, or just old age, that's not something you would have planned for. You surely have a job, a social life, bills to pay, and concerns you have to take care of outside of caring for your loved one. Taking care of your relative every hour of the day probably doesn't fit into your necessary schedule, and no one offers paid leave to care for elders or ill loved ones.
Your Loved One Wants The Best For You
Your loved one surely wishes that they were healthy and able to care for themselves, but they also don't want you to lose opportunities while caring for them. While you might think that you should be willing to sacrifice anything and everything to care for them, take the time to talk to them. You'll probably find that they don't feel the same way, and want you to have every chance and opportunity possible in life without being dragged by them.
Resentment & Your Health
At the end of the day, taking care on the responsibility of caring for a family member alone can be exhausting. No matter how much you love that person, you may find yourself becoming irritable towards them, resentful, or angry. It's not a healthy situation for either of you to be in.
Your stress isn't all in your head, either; your physical body is also experiencing it. Your body may be at a higher risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and you may be more likely to get ill.
There's nothing shameful in getting help in caring for a loved one. Many skilled, honest, and kind people work as in-home nurses or caregivers to help you. They can provide medication, physical therapy, general hygienic care, and even provide social stimulation for your family member. Whether you want a hand around the house part of the time, or you need someone there to take care of your loved one 24/7, it can take stress off of you.
Just because you're getting help doesn't mean that your relative isn't important to you. At the end of the day, you'll have more free time and know that your family member is being well taken care of, in their own home.