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Preventing Tension


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The process of adjusting to providing or accepting care, especially assistance in personal matters, is difficult for everyone. Both the giver and recipient of care need to take plenty of time for talking and listening. Try exchanging letters when it is hard to talk face to face.

Reach out

Many families feel they should not ask others for help. But going it alone allows fatigue and resentment to build. Before there is a crisis, the family should seek out resources for respite care, stress management, and counseling. Self-help groups provide important contact with others which may make this easier to do. People who successfully avoid feeling trapped develop a network of formal and informal helpers within the family and beyond.

Understand what to expect

Caregivers need to learn the nuts and bolts from experts. Many insurance plans will pay for an occupational or physical therapist to make a home visit if a doctor prescribes it. Don’t hesitate to discuss "non-medical" home management issues with your physician. Nurses, hospital social workers, or the nearest Society chapter are also sources of instruction and information. Ask about gadgets and equipment to adapt your home for safety, convenience, and maximum independence for the person who is disabled. Ask for help in identifying depression or cognitive problems.

When someone is losing it

People know when anger and frustration levels are rising. When the red flags are up, take a time out. Step back. Find someone to call.

After a hurtful incident

Reach out! Victims shouldn’t compromise their self-esteem but it is possible to work toward reconciliation after an incident.