When you are on a plane the flight attendant always guides you through the steps of what to do in an emergency. One of those steps involves the oxygen mask. They always say to secure the mask to your own face before assisting your child or others. The logic is that if the plane loses oxygen and you faint or become incapacitated you will not be able to help anyone else (let alone yourself).
Many times a caregiver or carepartner is so focused on all the things they need, want, or have to do for another that they prioritize the “to do’s” and completely forget about their own needs. It is important to remember that everyone needs help at some point or other, even the designated “helper.”
But how do I ask for help?
- Know what you need – Identify a few key things and add them to your “to do” list
- Prioritize your list – You shouldn’t always be last
- Know who to ask –Learn which agencies do what
- Have the conversation – Discuss your needs/actions with the person you’re caring for