Expert suggests reaching out for help when caring

Bryan Aldrige

June 3, 2011

Millions of Americans across the country are taking care of someone who needs a little extra help, but the problem is that many of these caregivers believe that they don't need any help themselves. However, this can quickly make the responsibility overwhelming.

"Everyone has to work these days, so get your family members to pitch in. Reach out for help, and realize you can't do it all alone. Everyone needs some time away," professional caregiver Mei Newmann told The Denver Post.

She acknowledged that caring for an aging parent, relative or spouse can be a burden that sometimes leads to more stress, but suggests that those who are feeling frustrated with a loved one should try putting themselves in a patient's shoes. If that doesn't work, find support groups or seminars that work to show caregivers just how an older adult thinks and feels.

To give a senior a little bit more independence, try installing a personal emergency response system at home. This device enables users to instantly send a medical alert to a call center if they require assistance, and can also provide caregivers with some relief from their demanding duties.

Professionals caregivers can also be an important resource if one requires more of a break or needs to go to work. By supplementing home care with these services, it's possible to make a duty toward a love one much less stressful and much more fulfilling.