Lou-Ellen Barkan
Founding Director

Becoming an Informed Donor

Early in my career, I had a mentor who gave me some priceless advice. I was working through my first major project when Paul stopped by to see how I was doing. I updated him and shared my accomplishments, but I didn’t disclose the difficulties I was having.

Paul was a senior executive with years of experience.  He saw right through me.  “Do you want to tell me what’s not going well?”

“Everything is fine,” I said.

Paul laughed. “Come on,” he said. “How can you solve problems if you don’t ask for help?”

Reluctantly, I shared my concerns. I was having trouble locating resources and understanding technical information. Executives were not returning my calls or setting up meetings.  Paul heard my concerns and showed me where to find the information. He called product experts to explain complex material. Finally, he set up meetings with a dozen senior executives. To this day, I’m convinced that my success was the direct result of Paul’s intervention.

As he left my office, Paul gave me some advice. “Always remember,” he said. “Asking for help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Help is out there, but you need to ask for it.”

When I became my mother’s caregiver, I took Paul’s advice. I asked for help from medical professionals. I talked with experts in long-term care and social services. I hired specialists to help me identify and submit the appropriate forms for government programs, including Veterans services. Over time, even the most complex issues sorted themselves out. Mom had better care and I felt more confident that I was doing my best. I got the help I needed, but I had to ask for it.

In my opinion, Paul had it right; asking for help is the only way to get it. For dementia caregivers, CaringKind’s Helpline is the absolutely best way to start. If you are caring for someone or know someone who needs our help, put aside any fears about asking for advice and make that call. Make it today and you will change your life and the life of someone you care about.

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