Because We Need Help, Are We Burdens?


Because We Need Help, Are We Burdens?

help-66609_640Right after our appearance on HuffPostLive, Richard (@kreisler) and I connected for an episode of Your Caregiving Journey. You can listen to our show via the player, below.

During our show, we discussed the word "burden." Because we need help--either because give care or because we receive care--are we burdens? We shared our perspective on burdens, asking for help and being able to help. @g-j, @kathy and @thpurplejacket joined us in the chat room to share their perspectives.

So, I'd love know: How do you feel about caregiving as it relates to burden? When do you feel like a burden? Please share your thoughts in our comments section, below.

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I didn't get a chance to hear the blogcast but it feels I've dealt with the \"burden\" issue much of my life. When I was first diagnosed with a mood disorder in my 20's, I felt like a burden. I feel like I've been a burden to my family as I rely a lot on them right now. They care-give me so I have the capacity to caregive my wife. My wife feels like a burden to me. I tell her she is not a burden. I tell her that noone could have foreseen what would happen with her medically and that as her husband, I am caring for her the best I can which is the right thing for a husband to be doing in my eyes. That doesn't mean we do not have our moments. I frequently feel over-burdened with all I'm contending with not because of my caree--just the multitude of tasks. So, as I've said before, I just stay in the moment the best I can.


Great show! As I said in yesterday's all-member chat, \"burden\" is a loaded word for me. I grew up with almost daily reminders (some internal, some external) that I was a burden to my parents, so the last thing I ever want to do is make someone feel that they are a burden to me. That said, I was extremely frustrated, angry, and confused in the early years of my caregiving, when my partner kept insisting that nothing was wrong. Once her diagnosis came through and I understood the dynamics better, I could detach and \"deal.\"\r\n\r\nDue to my severe dysmenorrhea, I learned early on to ask for help when I knew I needed it -- like having someone fetch one of my college classmates to literally pick me up off the bathroom floor and help me get back to class. Humor came in handy, there. :-)\r\n\r\nThe lessons I learned during that time help me as I try to be proactive, looking into home health care options for a time when (a) my partner's condition worsens and/or (b) I become incapacitated for one reason or another. As her sole caregiver, with no family involvement and almost no family contact at all, I've made it a habit to seek help however I can find it. Pride doesn't factor into my actions at all -- my survival instinct does.