It's Okay to Ask for Help
Guest Post authored by Tomeah Health client, Greg F.
If you’re like me, you know the situation: Career, family, time. There never seems to be enough time when you’re committed to caring for a loved one, in my case my Dad.
For me it’s not so much the necessities; the doctor visits, the stores, the bills, which you often find yourself rushing through to get to the next one or those on the home front. For me, it’s quality time, or social time, that I fret about.
My Dad is 89 and over the last few years - since moving him to Atlanta from Tampa - he has lost levels of independence. He doesn’t drive anymore, and his eyesight and hearing are not what they were. As a former Korean War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, followed by roles in law enforcement and private security, this is a tough guy who practically spent his whole life in uniform. Being helped out in basic day-to-day functions was not in his DNA.
But the good news is he’s ambulatory as the VA staff puts it, meaning his health is good overall and he lives by himself and exercises and does his own housework and all that he can. That’s the independence he’s clinging to. At worst, I find myself watching the clock when I’m tending to him, and that’s not a good feeling. As caregivers know it’s an emotional process given, again, the home front and time and the sense of duty.
For someone as social as my Dad is, my biggest regret is the time he spends alone in the apartment. He’s not one for a group home or an American Legion or Disable American Veterans gathering, for example, though I do consider the VA a partner in my caregiving.
Thankfully, Tomeah has given me the help that I need. That we both need.
I’ve found it to be simple and easy to use, affordable and safe, and the peace of mind has been great. What I needed most was someone to simply spend quality time with him during the work week bulk of time I cannot, be it a lunch trip to the Waffle House to see his favorite people or even a stop at the mailbox. He loves mail. Most of all, someone to talk to and fill the hours.
Ah but we’re just warming up. Over time as his comfort level grows, I envision other practical matters like simple doctor appointments, the grocery store, what have you, all of which would free me up for, yes, quality time, beyond the sense that my caregiving is mainly a matter of rushing through errands.