If you are a caregiver, you know that being a caregiver can be demanding, overwhelming, and messy, in addition to being rewarding. Caregiving can make multi-tasking in an already busy life even harder, and requires organization and stress management to do it well. And some people cannot do it.

A friend told me today, “I couldn’t be the caregiver when my mom was sick. It was too much for me. I hired caregivers and oversaw everything but I wasn’t doing the hands-on work,” she said with regret. I told her I thought the way she handled the situation was perfect. I do not say that because I run a caregiving business. I say it because the woman would have had too much stress if she tried to be her mom’s caregiver and she would not have done a good job. It is important to realize when you cannot do a job of this magnitude. Let someone else take over. Whether it is another relative, a friend, or a hired caregiver, the critical issue is to find somebody, or many somebodies, who can be there for your loved one and give him all of the attention and time he needs.

If you do decide to let other people care for your loved one, it is vital that you to stay involved in his care. Keep in touch with the caregivers to make sure they have what they need to do the job. Ask if they are seeing changes in your loved one’s condition that could affect the plan of care. Do not be afraid to speak up if there is an issue that concerns you but respect the knowledge the caregiver brings to the situation.

If you wanted to build a house but didn’t know how, you would hire people to help build it or you would learn how to build it yourself. Either way you would have a house and it ultimately would not matter who built it. You would still have a roof over your head and walls to protect you. When a loved one needs care, it doesn’t matter who provides it. You just need to do your best to make sure he receives the best care you can arrange, no guilt necessary.

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