About Writing, Life and Writing About Life

No man is an island,” the saying goes. But you could be fooled by looking at the way we often behave. I’ve been thinking about this topic because my father is having a tough time caring for my stepmother, who has dementia. He isn’t doing it alone, as my stepsisters and stepbrother do all they can to help. However, things seem to have got to a stage where that is not enough, and I am relieved that my Dad has finally asked for more help. It seems it is still difficult for him to accept this help – I think he still has the feeling that he should be able to cope. Cope with the house, as well as being a carer all his waking hours. But no one can carry on like that indefinitely, so it is a relief to me that he will be getting more help and support in the coming weeks.

These days, help and support comes from a much wider group than just our local neighbours, as my husband demonstrated to me over the weekend by making use of a forum to get some advice and support. And help isn’t limited to physical or even to people. Many find emotional and spiritual help from their faith, or from the packs of cards that have become so popular now. I chose a card this morning from Doreen Virtue’s Ascended Masters card set to support me in the week ahead. The card which came out of the deck for me was the Power of Joy, the ascended master in question being Maitraya, the laughing Buddha. I can literally call on Maitraya to support me. Or if it is a step too far for you to ask a specific spirit for help, it works just as well to think of them as aspects of yourself. We all have reserves, which we can call on in times of need.

The other side of the coin, of course, is to offer help to those who need it. This is how we build a society that works. Even when help has not been asked for there are things we can offer anyone, such as a smile, or understanding rather than judging. Thinking about it, helping others is one route to joy, so perhaps that is my focus for this week as I visit my Dad.


Comments on: "Thought for the Week – Asking for Help" (6)

  1. Dear Anne,

    I send you and your family all the love and endurance possible from the words of a friend. My father suffered from dementia for many years and I understand what a challenge it can be just to get from one day to the next.

    Thinking of you.



  2. Anne

    With the work that I have been doing with the Phoenix Legacy, I have learnt there is a lot of help and support out there for Carers. St Johns’ Ambulance run a carer support programme. There are also local groups of Carer’s UK and many more. They do fantastic work. Some detail is on our website for the Mind Your Head Challenge under Brain Cells.

    I have literature on this, so let me know if you would like me to send it to you.

    With sincere best wishes to you and your family

    Rosie Barfoot

    • Thanks for the thought, Rosie. I know I need to be open to looking what support there is. Sometimes the hardest thing is sifting through – what I would find supportive is seen as no use at all by my Dad. In the little time he has away from caring, he wants a complete break rather than any activities in any way related to dementia. And my stepmother has barely left the house in the last year, as persuading her to attend any kind of activity is impossible. Which has led me to rather throw my hands up in despair of being able to do or suggest anything to help. I am waiting with interest to see what help is now offered by the team they have been referred to, and how it can support my Dad to continue as a carer, which is what he wants. I will let you know if I think he becomes open to more suggestions.

  3. It’s wonderful that he has found support all around him. I watched my mother get weaker and weaker caring for my dad before he passed. It was a relief for everyone when she finally stopped pushing people away and accepting help. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • Hi Deana, With four children and three step-children you would like to think there was plenty of help for my Dad, but most of us live too far away to be helping on a day-to-day basis. What I’m hoping to get in place is some of the professional help that I know is out there – it’s just finding what suits the circumstances. Thanks for reading.

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