Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Tips for Dealing with Caregiver Burden

        Health | Elder Care

3
Get help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help taking care of a loved one.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help taking care of a loved one.
iStockPhoto.com/Dean Mitchell

Earlier, we discussed the importance of securing time for yourself. The best way to do this is to recruit those who can help. There are many organizations and networks that may be able to provide you with advice, support or access to more information or resources. Your loved one's medical care providers should be able to suggest resources available to you in your area, or you can check the phone book or Internet. Your religious organization of choice may have resources available, as there are likely to be several members in every organization going through the same situation you are.

It is important to seek out family, friends and even neighbors to help out with the cause. Not only will it lessen some of the burden on you, it will also keep the care recipient's personal community updated, informed and involved in the care giving.

If possible, schedule at least semi-regular meetings between interested or involved parties. These don't have to be face-to-face meetings. Collect phone numbers and e-mail addresses of others who have connections or relationships with the care recipient. Update these people to keep them aware of changes, medical or personal developments, and -- just as important -- to let them know when you need help.

No matter what you think you can or should do, the truth is you cannot bear the entire responsibility for providing care for a disabled loved one. The longer you expect any different of yourself, the more burned out you're going to get.