When our family is involved, we seem to think that we should inherently
know what to do to help them. It doesn’t matter if they need assistance
in an area that we don’t have any experience with, we just seem
to think we should be able to figure it out anyway because it is our family
member. Love will find a way.
However, we don’t have to put so much pressure on ourselves. Asking
for help doesn’t mean we don’t love and care about our family
member. On the contrary, it can mean that because we love and care about
our family member, we want to take advantage of the expertise that lies
beyond our personal experience.
Help can come in many forms. In aging and long-term care situations, it
can mean turning to the expertise of a geriatric care manager. In an end
of life situation, it can mean calling on the employees and volunteers
of Hospice. In an emotionally wrenching situation, it can mean calling
upon a trusted clergy member.
The key is to not let guilt or unrealistic expectations of your family
duty keep you from seeking out the support you need and the assistance
your family member needs. There are people who devote a good deal of their
lives to training to assist in the kinds of situations you face. Do yourself
and your family member a favor and take guilt free advantage of their
training and ask for help. It is OK.