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How to divide the workload

Elderly woman with two younger women - dividing your caregiving workload

It's okay to ask for help

You may be your loved one’s primary caregiver. But that doesn’t mean you have to do all the work yourself. Your friends and family will probably be more than willing to help – if you just ask. If you don't, no one will know that you need help. So don't hesitate. 
 
Asking for support is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it can help you get the free time you need to relax. Then you’ll have more energy to care for your loved one. 

How to ask

Choose a good time to ask. You could mention it at a family gathering or when you meet with friends. Or maybe when those people see you caring for your loved one. Also, be open about your situation. The more that others understand your challenges, the more likely they’ll be to volunteer their help.
 
Your family and friends may simply not know how to help even if they want to. So discuss the tasks in detail, emphasize the fact that they are relatively simple and easy to do.

How to divide the workload?

Start with basic things – for example, shopping. Ask others for help with particular tasks at specific times. Ask them to:
 
  • help with cleaning the house;
  • do some shopping (for medicine / groceries / meals / household cleaning products);
  • visit your loved one to keep them company (for example, by playing card or board games, going for a walk, or watching movies with them).

Other important issues

Create a schedule to confirm everyone’s tasks. And bear in mind that some people might prefer to work together with others instead of on their own.
 
Give your helpers some freedom, so that you’re not managing them too much. Otherwise, they might think you have everything under control, and that you don’t need their help.

Get in touch with other caregivers

Look up a caregivers support group online. Meet others who take care of their loved ones in your neighbourhood. It’s good to share your experiences with people who are dealing with similar challenges. You can pick up lots of valuable tips.

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