Caree complaints - No. 5: "I need assistance; no I don't."

Sometimes I feel I can’t do right for doing wrong. My caree is ready to get out of a chair and I offer a hand to help her up, but she declines.

I can understand this. She wants to be as independent as she can for as long as she can. Accepting non-essential help could lead to relying on that help.

Yet, for example, she may be taking off a blouse, and she will yell at me: “That’s right; just stand and watch me struggle.”

My reasoning is that if she can put a blouse on without assistance I would expect her to be able to take one off - but it does not seem to work that way.

I help her put shoes on. She can manage slippers without help, but her outdoor shoes are amazingly difficult to put on. They are nearly all slip-on style, but I need to almost force them on.

I have told her many times that if she wants help she needs only to ask for help. This does not seem to get through to her.

I imagine that I am not the only one faced with this problem. Any suggestions?


I suppose you could say, “are you ok doing that on your own or would you like some help?”

However it does sound like you are both getting on each other’s nerves and that you really need a break. This would benefit you both. Please consider one. I appreciate the logistics are difficult. Makes me think of Ayjay. He put off having one but after years of caring he did in the end and decided it was worth the organising and the expense etc Unfortunately his health caught up with him and I suspect that he did not get to take any others.


Thanks for your kind thoughts, Melly. I did manage to get a short break a few days ago. My caree agreed to me attending an event which would involve one night away at a hotel.

I am amazed how refreshed I felt after just a short break like that. The day away seemed to last so long, with my temporary respite from caring duties and just enjoying the company of friends at the event. I came back and find that I have renewed energy to tackle those boring but essential chores that are all part of life.

In a short while, I’ll be accompanying my caree on a week’s holiday. I have mixed feelings; there will certainly be the enjoyable aspects to it, but accompanying a disabled person travelling can be stressful. Then soon after that I hope, if arrangements can be finalised, to have a few days away on my own, visiting relatives elsewhere in the country, while a friend looks after my caree. Effectively it will be the holiday to get over the previous holiday.

I cannot stress enough that carers need to look after themselves too.
If you love them enough to care 50 weeks of the year, they should love you enough to let you have the other 2 weeks free from caring.
It’s in their best interests to keep you as well as possible!!!

We all need help- try that.

Amazing what even a couple of hours can do to recharge the batteries.

Denis, I’m so pleased you had a short break, sounds like it did you a world of good.

I totally get the ‘need a holiday to get over the holiday.’ Taking S on holiday is a change but definitely not a rest and for that reason I take him away during college term time so that I can have a day off to recover a bit.

Great you have another break planned.