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Men: Asking for Help

Asking for Help

map Asking for help. Men do not do very well at this. You know the story of going on a trip and getting…misdirected. Your partner tells you to stop and get directions but no matter how…..misdirected you are you cannot stop and ask for directions.

Men do not like to ask for help because they feel it shows they do not know what they are doing, or that they are unable to get the job done.

This same resistance to asking for help sometimes extends to caring for their partner or family member. o Many studies show that men who ask for help are more effective caregivers and are healthier because of it.

What Can You Do?

Male caregivers say that finding out and enlisting help from others is a key to success for caregiving. Here are some suggestions:

• Ask for Help
You are a stroke survivor too! You can see the changes that stroke has brought on your loved one. But how about the changes it has caused in your life? Just because you did not have a stroke does not mean that you are not adversely affected. You deserve a lot of credit for hanging in there and supporting your loved one, so do not feel bad about asking for help from others.

• Think About Who Can Help
Take an inventory of family and friends who may be able to help you. List all of them and what sorts of things they can or want to do. This list should run the gamut from people who can run simple errands like get stamps or pick up items at the drug store, to those who can stop in and be with your loved one while you take a break.

• Create a Family Meal Day
If you have adult children or friends who live nearby, make one meal every week when everybody brings over a dish and gets together. This will allow you to get a good meal without having to work so hard, and get both you and your loved one interacting with the outside world.

• Contact Agencies
Talk with community organizations to see what sort of help they offer men. Examples may be meals on wheels, home health aides or cleaning services. These agencies can help take some of the burden off you. Like any commander, this sort of delegation will allow you to do other more important things. Many of these organizations are listed in your local phone book under "Home Health" and "Senior Services".

• Contact Support Groups
Consider attending a stroke support group. Chances are there are people there who have encountered some of the same problems you are dealing with right now. Why should you spend weeks or months trying different ways to help your loved one when someone already has an answer that works?

American Stroke Association

National Stroke Association

• Consider Spiritual Help
Have you gotten away from your spiritual center? Consider joining or going back to church or pursuing the spiritual life that you may have moved away from. Asking for help from a higher power is a time-tested way to cope with change.

• Get Help To Widen Your World
Some caregivers become consumed with caring for their loved, to the exclusion of all else. Stroke has thrust you into an important role. You are the caregiver and leader, so if you get overburdened your health and outlook will suffer. This will affect both of you, so take advantage of friends, family, professional providers, and agencies to widen your focus.

• Leave that guilty feeling behind. If you were a stroke survivor, would you want your loved one to spend every minute in service to you? All right then. You may feel a little guilty about taking time out to do things for yourself, but men who have cared for their loved ones all say that taking time for previously enjoyed activities made them better caregivers.

Resume activities with friends that were enjoyable in the past like fishing, golf, or just hanging out. With the proper planning, you can get help to assist your loved one while you do these things.

Additional Information

The following are some web sites to provide you with more information about asking for help:

Asking for help - Comfort Keepers

What can I do to help? -

Stroke Support Groups - Support Groups Search 


National Stroke Association. (2009). Recovery after stroke: Social support. Retrieved from

Internet Stroke Center. (2010). Pat yourself on the back. Retrieved from

Greenwood, N., Mackenzie, A., Cloud, G., & Wilson, N. (2010, May). Loss of autonomy, control and independence when caring: A qualitative study of informal carers of stroke survivors in the first three months after discharge. Disability and Rehabilitation, 32(2), 125-133.

Taylor, C., Lillis, C., LeMane, P., & Lynn, P. (2008). Fundamentals of Nursing (6th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Developed in 2011 by Timothy Dymond, RN, BSN at the University of Toledo for Caring~Web©.

Last Updated: 4/20/16