Monday, November 9, 2015

If There's Anything I Can Do, Just Ask...Really?

November is National Family Caregivers Month. What a great time to do something for someone you know who is a family caregiver!

So often, when we are caregivers, friends and extended family (even relative strangers) will often say, “If there is anything I/we can do, please let us know.”

As caregivers we reply, “I sure will.” But, we don’t. Hardly ever do we call on folks to assist…unless it’s the argument we finally have with family members who aren’t pulling their weight. Luckily, my brother and I never had that argument…LOL! We argued about other things.

Folks are trying to be nice when they ask if there is anything they can do, but many are also doing an understandable dance. When encountering a caregiver good manners almost demands that we say, “If there’s anything….” But, let’s be honest, so often, in our minds, we’re not imagining that they’ll ask…or, truth be told, we are hoping that if they do it it won’t be something that will make us uncomfortable. For instance, “Would you come and sit with Mama for a couple of hours so I can take a break?” Uh oh.

I can tell you that I got to a point at which I thought, “I’d just as soon you not ask if you don’t really mean it.” It wasn’t a mean-spirited thought; more one of, just be honest.

Again, it’s National Family Caregivers Month. Find someone who is a caregiver—believe me, they are everywhere—and ask, “What can I do for you?” and mean it.

In the next blog I’ll tell you what we asked folks to do. I assure you, what we asked them to do, and when we asked, will surprise and delight you.

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