It’s Okay to Admit You’re Overwhelmed and Need Help

Family caregivers are often reluctant to admit they need help. Whether you’re struggling to balance your personal needs with your parents’ care or can’t find enough hours in the day to get everything done, it’s okay to say you can’t keep up.

When you help your parents, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. They may be more demanding than you expected. You might not have realized just how little they can do independently until you started helping them. What is important is to get the right care plan and team in place to make sure both you and your parents have help.

Figure Out How Much You Can Really Do

Before you make any plans, look at your life. How many hours do you work each week? How long of a commute do you have? If you work eight hours a day and commute an hour every day, you’re already using up nine hours.

Your parents need help with meals, so you stop by after work. That adds another 30 minutes to your commute from your work to their house and then another 30 minutes from their house to yours. That boosts your commute hours. You now have 10 hours a day that are used up.

You need seven or eight hours of sleep for optimal well-being, plus you have your children’s meals to make. You also have housework to do at your house and personal needs for socialization and relaxation. Don’t overlook that.

If you realistically only have two hours a day to spend at your parents’ house, don’t take on too much. Figure out what you can do to help for two hours and have others chip in for the rest.

Talk to Family Members and Close Family Friends

Talk to your brothers and sisters and any close family friends about the things your parents need help doing. If your sister-in-law goes shopping every Friday and drives right by your parents’ house on the way, she may be willing to pick them up and bring them with her.

If you have a close friend who jogs by your parents’ house every day, you could see if your friend could stop and bring in your parents’ mail. You might have friends who can stop and pick up curbside store orders and drop them off on their way home.

Once you know who has time to help, look for gaps. If no one is free to clean the home each week, you want to hire professional caregivers for that. If your parents don’t have visitors all week and get lonely, companionship services are a great idea.

Talk to a home care agency about the different services offered in your parent’s town. Let caregivers help out with the daily activities your parents can’t do alone. You’ll have time to focus on your needs and not have to worry about your parents being alone every day.


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