It can be hard to ask for help. You may feel it’s a sign of weakness, or you hate to bother people. After all, everybody is busy! But it’s okay to ask for help. At Home Hospice North Lanark, we often wish people would call us sooner. We frequently see that we could have helped more if we’d been involved earlier. (NOTE: Practical Caregiver Training is starting on March 14. You must register by March 7. Information on this valuable training can be found here: https://hhnl.ca/event/pctspring23/)
Here are some of the signs that tell you it may be time.
1. Your family and friends are gently suggesting that you need to get some help, and you reply: “We’re not there yet.”
It is not uncommon for others to recognize your need for help before you do. Not getting proper rest and nutrition, years of caregiving and worry, can make it very difficult to see things clearly. A call to our Program Coordinators can help you sort out what kind of support may benefit you.
2. You put off your own care, such as doctor and dental appointments; you get sick more often, and you’re always tired. Every day tasks, such as making meals, feel almost beyond you, and you are letting the housecleaning slide.
When you get to this point, you are putting your own health at risk. Our Program Coordinators can help you identify ways to deal with these issues. Perhaps a Visiting Volunteer would give you some respite, or maybe attending one of our Practical Caregiver Training sessions would help (A new session is starting on March 14, 2023. See below for details.). They are also very knowledgeable about the various services in the community.
3. You don’t very often call friends for a chat, or meet them for coffee, and your social life is pretty much non-existent. You feel you have nothing “fun” to talk about and that you just bring down the mood when you’re with others.
This is a sign that you may be isolating yourself. Even at these hard times in life, when there is sufficient support and knowledge, you can find joy in life. Our Program Coordinators can help you find appropriate help, counselling or respite, and assist in getting the help that is needed.
4. You have trouble concentrating, and are often close to tears. You get anxious when you have to leave your loved one home alone to run out for groceries or other errands.
It may seem obvious that this is a sign, but what happens is that it kind of sneaks up on you, especially if the person you are caring for has been ill for a long time. Our Program Coordinators come in with a fresh set of eyes and ears and can provide you with knowledge that can help you sort through your thoughts and feelings. Knowledge is power, and a clear understanding of what you may be facing can give you back some sense of control.
5. Your loved one is getting weaker, or having greater difficulty with day-to-day tasks, and the need for more physical help from you, such as getting in and out of bed or the shower, is becoming too heavy for you.
At this point, the situation is unsafe — for both of you. The Program Coordinators can help guide you with what to ask your doctors, to find services you may be eligible for, or refer you to programs such as the Lanark County Community Paramedicine Program, which offers in-home services, such as wellness checks, needs/risk assessments, and more, helping keep people out of the Emergency Room.
If you see yourself in any of these “signs” we urge you to call our Program Coordinators at 613-406-7020 or 343-262-0902, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more, please visit www.hhnl.ca
You are not alone!
Practical Caregiver Training
If you are an unpaid caregiver looking after someone who is very ill, struggling with dementia or has physical limitations, then this free Practical Caregiver Training is for you!
Tuesdays, between March 14 and April 11 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Almonte Legion, 100 Bridge Street. Registration is required.
Please contact Jan Watson at email@example.com or 613-791-7167 by March 7.
Attendance is limited to 15, so please register now!
Information can be found at https://hhnl.ca/event/pctspring23/