Question: I am 47 years old and a housewife. I take care of my 97 year old mother-in-law who is bed ridden. The rest of the family leaves all the care on me. There is a granddaughter who is in her final year of nursing school, and unless I ask no help is provided. My husband works, so his help is minimal or none. There are times I feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and just taken advantage of, but I don''t complain or talk about it. What do I do?
Dr. Amy: Taking care of someone who needs a lot of help can be physically and emotionally draining. Not everyone understands just how much work it is. I encourage you to ask for more help.
The fact that you feel overwhelmed does not mean that your family wants you to feel this way. Very often, people are just absorbed in their own busy lives. They assume that if you are not asking for help, you have everything under control.
In my experience, most people are willing to help. But how we ask for help can sometimes determine whether we get the results we want. The following tips may help:
If you don't ask for help, the stress of constantly feeling overwhelmed and frustrated may wear you down over time. That's not good for you or for anyone. It's vitally important that caregivers take care of themselves!
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