Proactive Caregiving (While You Still Can Ask For Help)

toothacheCaregivers never want to “bother anyone” because it’s “not bad enough yet.”

I hear this so many times in the group that I facilitate that I took the challenge last week.

“So,” I said after hearing an account of falling in which the caregiver and her husband with advanced Alzheimer’s  both sustained bruises and bloody limbs.  He fell into the front flowerbed and could not get up by himself.  She reached down to hoist him up and ended up catapulted against a concrete wall when he proved too heavy for her to lift.

“If you had a sore tooth, you would wait until there was pus coming out of your gums and you were delirious with throbbing pain before you called the dentist?”  There was silence from the eight caregivers in my living room.  I continued, “You know it isn’t going to get any better by itself.”

It’s hard to ask for help.  I know it so well.  But when a loved one becomes more and more unable to help with transfers, when he is too weak and falls often, his caregiver is risking her own good health if she doesn’t make arrangements for assistance.

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