When I was previously married, my wife was seriously injured in an auto accident. I determined I could be her caregiver, while running a small business and parenting four school-age children—and, I could do this without asking for help.

Needless to say, life proved me wrong. It was too much for me to handle.

Nearly 30 years later, when my wife Carol was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I knew I had to do things differently. I put my man-sized ego aside, made myself vulnerable, and asked my family and friends for help.

When asking for help, the one tip I would offer is: be specific. For example, "Can you sit with my wife while I go to the store?" "Could you show me how to make my wife's favorite soup?"

Conversely, if you want to help a friend of yours who is a caregiver, you should also strive to be specific. "Do you need me to pick up some groceries for you?" "Would it help if I drove your wife to her chemo appointment?"

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Giving assistance to another human being is a source a great joy for all of us. But friends and family can't give unless you are willing to receive. Don't hesitate to ask for the help you need and be willing accept that which is offered. This is another form of acceptance and one way to improve your chances of being around to care for the one you love.