Solve Mistake #2: Trying To Do It All Yourself

February 18, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ All Blog Posts,Caregiving,Family Caregiver,Library of Blogs, Articles & Videos

Are you a family caregiver trying to do it all yourself only to find out that the load gets heavier and heavier as the journey continues? Trying to do it all yourself is a recipe for disaster. Trying to do it all yourself will leave you stressed and overwhelmed.

Maybe you’re a victim of what I call layering. You start off doing one thing. Then another comes up and it just seems easier to do it yourself than to ask or find someone else to help. So, you take on additional family caregiver responsibilities one at a time and before you realize it you’re in over your head.

I’m here to tell you there’s a way out. It won’t be easy. You’ll have to work hard to undo the knot you’ve tied yourself in.

If you’re willing to work through the additional, temporary pain to get your life back, then I have a suggestion for you. Create a Care Help List.

Care Help List is simply a list of all the things that need to get done for your aging loved one. Some are things you will do and some are things others can do and might even be better at doing than you. Include all the family caregiver tasks. Remember, this is a dynamic list that will continue to change and evolve over time as your aging loved one’s needs evolve. Choose the tasks you want to do and keep these tasks for yourself. Now comes the hard part. Recruit family, neighbors, friends to take responsibility for something that isn’t taken by you or someone else on the Care Help List. And don’t overlook the younger generation.

You’ll have to let others help even if it means:

  • It takes longer than it would take you to get it done
  • It won’t get done exactly when you want it to
  • It won’t get done how you would have done it or how you may want it done
  • Your aging loved one might resist at first until he or she gets used to a team of family caregivers instead of a team of one

I remember working with a family caregiver. Her parent’s finances were disorganized and sorely needed some structure and discipline. She didn’t even try to take this on because she was already at the end of her rope. Out of necessity she recruited the help of her husband. He was just the right person for the job. In no time he had his in-law’s finances organized . His father-in-law, who had been taking care of the finances, and his wife were relieved and saw how much better the finances were organized. Bill paying was now much easier.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, consider making a Care Help List. What do you have to lose but work that you’d like to shed anyway? Are you ready to give it a try?

What is on your Aging Loved One’s Care Help List? Who will you recruit to be on the Family Caregiver Team and take responsibility for something from the Care Help List?

Give it a try and then come back and let me know your experience.