St. Andrew's Senior Solutions

Help is just a phone call away!
(314) 726-5766

Senior Solutions On Facebook

Gathering Support for Caregiving

In many cases, the responsibilities of caregiving increase over time as the elder becomes more dependent.  For this reason, it’s a good idea to get used to asking for help early.  Here are some ideas:

  • Friends, neighbors and members of the community may be perfectly happy to help if they are asked to perform a specific task.  They can also be valuable sources of information about everything from reputable handymen to substantiating the fact that Mom’s hearing seems to be getting worse.
     

  • If your elder is a member of a church or temple, there may be formal or informal assistance available there.  Talk to the congregation’s leader to find out if they have outreach services for older members. 
     

  • Investigate community-based programs such as support services, respite care or geriatric care management programs. 
     

  • If your elder resists help from anyone outside the family, you may need to be firm.  Tell him or her that it’s something you’re going to try on a trial basis.  Give your own needs as much weight as the elder’s needs.
     

  • When you ask a person to provide help on a routine basis – say, taking the elder to church every Sunday – be sure to give them an out as well.  Assure them that they can call you if the arrangement ceases to be workable for them.
     

  • Keep a notebook of those who have volunteered help, or those who may be able to help, along with their addresses and phone numbers.  If you’re going to be late for your daily after-work visit with Grandpa, and he won’t answer the phone, you’ll be grateful you’ve got the phone number of his next-door neighbor who can pop in and check on him.

Many caregivers find that being part of a caregivers support group is tremendously valuable.  While perhaps you can’t picture how you could fit one more thing into your schedule, you may find it is time very well spent.  Give it a try.  Being part of a support group can help you develop new skills, it can teach you strategies that have served others well, and it can help you deal with the stress of caregiving.