How Do You Ask for Help and Could You Improve Your Method?
Sometimes the reason that you’re not getting the help that you need as a caregiver is that your approach is slightly off. Try these ideas to tweak your methods.
Guilt Doesn’t Work.
Think about your own response when someone tries to use guilt to motivate you to do something. Chances are that it doesn’t feel good for you. It won’t feel good to your family members, either. Guilt also tends to make people feel defensive and reduces their willingness to help.
Picking Fights Doesn’t, Either.
In your frustration, you might find it easy to lash out at family members that aren’t helping as much as you’d like them to help. Unfortunately, this drives people away from you when you most need their help and support. When you find yourself getting angry, take a deep breath and step back from the situation to allow yourself to cool down.
Be Open about What’s Going On.
The more your other family members know about what you and your elderly family member need, the more likely they’ll be to pitch in more. Information helps them to see what’s happening and to understand why you’re so overwhelmed.
Keep Your Tone Neutral.
If you’re phrasing your requests in a passive-aggressive manner or your tone of voice is angry or otherwise negative, it sets a bad tone for the conversation. Much like guilt, your tone can send your family members running in the opposite direction. You don’t want that, so practice keeping your tone positive or at the very least neutral.
Accept Negative Responses Gracefully and Move to Plan B.
Spare yourself from a drama cycle and learn how to accept the word “no” from your other family members. Truthfully, they may have valid reasons for being unable to help. So smile, let them know that it’s okay, and move down your list. It might even be time to find another option, such as hiring elder care providers who can provide the help that you need.
Modifying your habits with asking for help can take time, so be gentle with yourself. This is a process, so take baby steps and learn from your experiences.