Chapter 2: Who’s on your team?

It takes a village: Family and friends

I’ve been there
Paul speaks about how families and friends can help by making specific offers to help and support rather than vague, open offers. (3:22)Video transcript

At the beginning, I was the 24/7 caregiver for six weeks. Then one of her sisters came, and we worked out a rotation where we would each stay a certain number of weeks and then go home for ten days.

It truly does take a village to provide care.  Many caregivers try to “do it all” themselves but quickly realize the toll at-home caregiving can take. Caregiving is often exhausting, physically and emotionally, both for the primary caregiver and other family, relationships, and responsibilities.

Often friends and family want to help but are not sure how. Getting help with home care tasks could greatly relieve you from some of the overwhelming responsibilities and allow you to focus on the person who is ill and find precious time for yourself. 

Below is a list of some of the different tasks that may need to be done. Click on each topic to reveal several of the tasks involved and examples how others were able to help.

  • Researching available programs and services
  • Arrange appointments
  • Coordinate care
  • Coordinate support services

Here’s what helped us...

I had my hands full with the care and with coordinating all the appointments and home visits, so I was so relieved when Li (my brother) offered to keep all the family and friends updated on mom’s progress. Mom is well-loved, and it took so much of my time answering inquiries, calls, and emails. This way I only had to relay the updates to Li, and he took care of the rest.