Do you have your list ready?
You are in the midst of caring for your loved one and you haven’t slept much, you can’t remember the last time that you had a “real” meal and maybe you haven’t even been to your own home in two or three days. You are overwhelmed, exhausted, mentally whipped and want to just run away But, you don’t run away and you just “suck-it-up buttercup.”
People come to visit and maybe even bring a meal or stay for a while. It is good to have a few visitors and to take a little break. After a while, it is time for them to leave and as they are leaving, they may say something like… “Let me know if I can help you in any way.” Or, “Call me, if you need anything.”
Caregivers: Be prepared for those that ask what you need
Most really do mean it. They will help you, they just do not know what you need help with or what you want help with. People get territorial. Of course you need help and would like help with …” Oh crap, I can’t think of anything now that I have been put on the spot. “So, you just smile and say, “We are fine, right now.”
Five minutes after they leave, you think of everything that you do need help with. But, do you call them and let them know? You mean to let them know but then life happens and you are back in caregiver mode.
What might your life look like if you actually had a list of things that you could use some help with already made? Now let’s think outside the box for a few minutes… what are the three things that would help YOU the most?
Sitting with your loved one for three hours on Thursday
Doing Your laundry on ______________
Cleaning Your house on ______________
Mowing Your lawn on ________________
Making a meal and bringing to where you are on ______________
Having the oil changed in your vehicle on ____________________
Coming and visiting with you on ____________________________
Mowing your loved ones lawn on ___________________________
Doing laundry for your loved one on ________________________
Cleaning the gutters on __________________________________
Caregivers: It is okay to make your life easier
Whatever it is that will make your life a little easier is what you need to write down and put a day, date or time on it! Why put a time frame on it? So, if they can’t do it the day or time you ask for they will think of a day and time that they can do it for you. You could always have a chores list posted on the refrigerator and have people sign up for things that they are willing to do and can do. For example, I don’t mind doing laundry, running errands or putting a meal together. I do mind cleaning the house, dusting and sitting with someone. So, I will do the things that I don’t mind doing and I will be glad to help you. Someone else may be perfectly fine with sitting with your loved one and another may be perfectly fine with cleaning your house or your loved ones house. Give people the jobs that they like to do or do not mind doing. Don’t give them things they hate doing. You will have to see what works best for you. If having a chores list and people signing up does not work, then have a list of three things and tell them what they are and let them pick.
Be open to the possibility that people care for you and truly want to help you. Don’t rob them of a blessing.