One of the saddest things we see families in need of home care doing is procrastinating. The typical story goes something like this. My spouse, or mother, or brother really needs care and I feel it’s my responsibility to provide that care. After all, I’m the only family member living close enough. I go over to the house three or four times a day to prepare a meal or help with a bath or sometimes just to check in. I’m getting on a little, but I’m holding up OK. Or, I couldn’t possibly let someone else care for my husband in my own house. Is any of this starting to sound familiar?
Don’t wait until you can’t go on to get some help! Too often we let our own feelings of guilt or responsibilities cloud our better judgment regarding the care of a loved one. Unfortunately the result many times is two patients instead of one. As I’ve said before in this space, home care isn’t meant to replace the loving care of a family. Home care is meant to support the efforts of the family and make possible a safe and healthful lifestyle in the home for someone who otherwise might not be able to remain there.
The moral of this story, and my advice to families, is to get the help you need before you injure or weaken yourself. Remember that the person you are caring for may feel they are a burden on the people they love and signs of stress on a family caregiver can reinforce these feelings. Nobody’s best interest is ever served by waiting too long to seek help.