How to Ask for Help When You are Caring for a Terminally Ill Loved One Alone

You cannot take care of a dying person alone. It takes a village.

Like raising a child to live, it takes a village to help a person while they are dying.  There are many things to do and sharing the work is beneficial to everyone.  It can not only ease the work for you but also for the patient you’re taking care of. 

In life, there are so many things to take care of, worry about and manage beyond that of simply caring for your loved one. It is OK to ask for help and it is never a sign of weakness or burden to others. You’ll be surprised how many people want to help, but need to know from you how best to offer support. 

Everyone involved in supporting you and this work of love will feel good about being able to help and will learn, through the experience, the value of one another.

Asking for help will give you more time to spend just being there with the dying person, and it’s beneficial to the dying as they are relieved that their loved ones have the support of friends and family.  Bring together a group of friends, family, and neighbors for a gathering and organize tasks and schedules for everyone to do.

How to ask for help when you are caring for a terminally ill loved one alone.According to research, 72 percent of primary caregivers do not get any outside help when caring for their loved ones, and over 50% of these caregivers admitted that a little help would’ve helped them during this difficult time. You don’t have to be shy when doing so. After all, if you become stretched thin or burnt-out you will struggle to be the caregiver you want to be. 

To help you get the support you need and to provide better care for your loved one, here’s a few ways to focus your gathering of friends and family

How to Ask for Help

Give each person a responsibility
No matter how small a task is, just offer it to someone. Give everyone a task and watch them come through.

Divide tasks according to every helper’s ability
Make sure the task you assign someone is according to their abilities. For example, grandma knows how to take care of the kids and your sister is the one who knows where to get the groceries from, involve grandma or other close family or friends to care for the kids.

Talk about issues
If you are struggling with something while caring for the patient, discuss it with your helpers. Tell them what you’re going through, be it your emotions or any other challenges you face.

Try to let go and avoid trying to control the details
Trust your friends and family who are helping you with everything. We understand this can be an emotional time for you and you want to become in control of everything but you can’t do it all. Just give them the freedom to help you and you will see them come through.

To learn the best way to care for your dying loved one, follow the “Dying At Home 8 step program” on the home page. This includes how to do The Gathering.