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Are You a Caregiver in Need of Coaching?

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Are You a Caregiver in Need of Coaching?

Reach out before you burn out.
Yosaif  August
Yosaif August More by this author
Jun 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Do you regularly help someone with rides to the doctor, provide meals, pay bills, help with bathing, grooming, dressing, walking or transferring to a wheelchair, take care of housekeeping, manage medications, arrange for outside services, and the like? If so, you, like 65 million other people in the United States and untold millions around the world, fill the role of caregiver.

Moreover, while you may have chosen to become a caregiver, it is equally likely you have fallen into  the role out of necessity, possibly without thinking about it or even recognizing it until well down the road.

Caregiving for someone can be very rewarding. It provides opportunities to demonstrate love and commitment, to experience deeper intimacy, to share special moments, and to live in harmony with spiritual and cultural beliefs. It can also be hard work. Caregiving can pose physical, mental and financial challenges to the caregiver. The tasks and responsibilities can be demanding, often involving sacrifices and competing responsibilities and priorities.

Caregiving can disrupt relationships, threaten career opportunities and be the cause of mounting anger, frustration, guilt, anxiety, depression, and a sense of helplessness and exhaustion.

As the caregiver, at times you may feel alone, stressed and overwhelmed. Like so many others in your situation, you may be headed toward the common condition known as caregiver burnout.

Reaching out for love and support for yourself is fundamentally essential for you to have the physical, emotional and spiritual stamina to go the distance. Perhaps you see the need for help, but have been holding back from reaching out because:

  • You are so stressed that the very act of reaching out feels like more time, energy and attention than you can spare.
  •  You feel like you are the only one who can do things for your loved one in the way they need to be done.
  • You know that reaching out is what you need to do. You simply need a nudge to do it.

Here’s that nudge.

Here are a Baker’s Dozen Dos and Don’ts To Get What You Need:


1.    Get clear about what you want and need.

2.    Get clear about the way you want people to offer help and support.

3.    Set your privacy settings; let people know your limits, boundaries.

4.    Tell people up front if you are not comfortable talking about the medical condition of the Person You Care For (PYCF) in order to honor his/her wishes for privacy.

5.    Let people know your overall medical/healing goal for the PYCF.

6.    Understand that people will react differently to your news and unexpected people will rise to the occasion, while others you thought would be there may fade away.

7.    Forgive people in advance for their clumsiness, awkwardness, unconsciousness, and stupidity.

8.    Forgive people for not showing up. It’s not about you, it’s about them and the other things going on in their lives.

9.    Create a designated team captain.

10.    Know that solo is dodo.

11.    Realize that only you are in your shoes; no one else knows what you are experiencing and need unless you tell them.

12.    Let people know how they can best speak to the PYCF about his/her medical condition and care.

13.    Let people know that you prefer them to directly ask you how they can help. For example: “What can I do for you right now or this week” rather than “Let me know when you need me to do something for you.”


1.    Assume it’s best for you to tough it out alone.

2.    Assume that other people know what you need.

3.    Focus on not hurting other people’s feelings.

4.    Be afraid of asking too much of other people.

5.    Think that asking for support shows weakness on your part.

6.    Take help and support on any terms people offer it.

7.    Take other people’s lack of help as a personal affront.

8.    Assume you must let go of your personal privacy and boundaries during this time.

9.    Feel like you have to suffer.

10.    Let people wear you down with unwanted information and advice.

11.    Assume that by opening up to support, you have to be open with everyone.

12.    Think that only you can get everything done correctly.

13.    Assume that you won’t get burned out later, because you’re able to handle things well now.

About Author
Yosaif  August
Yosaif August is the President and CEO, Bedscapes/Healing Environments International, Inc. My own vision is to create a healing cocoon or comfort zone around every patient in every bed in every healthcare setting in the world. -Yosaif August Continue reading