Watching for Stumbling Blocks: Too Much Help

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From Personal Safety Nets® Getting Ready for Life’s Inevitable Challenges and Changes.“ by Dr. John W. Gibson and Judy Pigott.

Through our hands-on experience giving and sharing care, we have learned to identify many common “helping strategies” that actually complicate the situation or cause problems. Many of these attitudes and behaviors, while well-meaning, may cause a care partner to become weaker or more dependent upon you:

• Solving a problem for her because it’s faster or easier for you to do it.

• Giving help before it is requested or without asking if it is wanted.

• Providing more care than is good for you, and thereby risking feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

• Not allowing her, if she wishes, the opportunity to try something where she may fail.

• Speaking for her.

• Needing her to need you.

• Not being honest about what you need or want.

• Overly protecting her from honest feedback about her words and actions.

• Trying to cover up or hide the reality of her situation.