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The caregiver’s role
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Accepting help

Help is defined as the action of aiding someone, by joining your efforts to theirs, by providing them with assistance and support. As a caregiver, you are very familiar with this. You help your loved one improve their quality of life, but what about your own ability to accept help?


THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCEPTING HELP

The importance of help lies in its preventive quality. The trade-off of dedication to a loved one may be forgetting about yourself. Gradually, the lack of balance created by the overload of your role and the denial of your own needs can lead to compassion fatigue and burnout.

Remember the message on air planes whereby parents are asked to put on their own oxygen mask before their children's. Sometimes, in a caregiver’s journey, it is important to know how to take care of yourself in order to better care for someone else.  Accepting help is showing empathy to ourselves and preserving our balance. If you do not take care of yourself, and you are exhausted, who will take care of your loved one?

WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT?

If you have difficulty accepting help, it is important to understand the reason, as this will make it easier to fix.

Listening to your own needs can be a challenge if you have been completely neglecting this for a long time and only focusing on your loved one’s needs. Accepting help thus requires you to reconnect with yourself and listen to yourself. This also involves recognizing and accepting your limits. This can bring up feelings of guilt and impressions of failure. Caregivers can have very high expectations of themselves and recognizing that we can’t do everything ourselves can be unsettling.

Fears about the quality of services are another important issue. No one will provide this very special quality of care afforded by the love you have for your loved one. It nevertheless remains that organizations or family members can provide a quality of services and care that must not be underestimated.

HOW

Ask yourself what the fact of accepting help awakens in you. Be indulgent, recognize and accept your limits, and most importantly take care of yourself. If need be, call Caregiver Support; we will listen, and we can direct you toward psychological support.

In accepting help, you learn to let go and accept that you do not need to control everything. Perfection does not exist, and it is important to differentiate the actual quality of services provided from your expectations. This does not mean accepting the unacceptable, but rather that things are done differently. 

The mistrust of outside help can come from a misunderstanding of the services. Get informed, and do not hesitate to contact Caregiver Support to demystify the various services and obtain resources that meet your needs. And if it’s your loved one who is hesitant about outside help, read our article “Is your loved one refusing home care services?” from March 21, 2017. 


Sources

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Service d'aide à domicile du Granit. Accepter de l'aide à domicile, un cheminement à vitesse variable. Janvier 2019. [En ligne]. https://www.sadgranit.com/blogue/aide-a-domicile-cheminement-vitesse-variable

Home Instead. Quand un parent refuse les soins à domicile. Janvier 2019. [En ligne]. https://www.homeinstead.qc.ca/fr/nouvelles/quand-un-parent-refuse-les-soins-%C3%A0-domicile-

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