Episode Ten

How to Ask for Help

In this episode of the Caregiver’s Guide to Cancer, I share how to respond when someone says, ‘let me know if you need anything’.

I know that it sounds a little empty when someone says it but I truly believe that people do mean well when they say it.  They simply don’t know how to best help you and insert themselves in your household.

Rather than get annoyed by what is perceived to be an empty gesture, I’m showing you how to take responsibility for telling them how they truly can best help you and your household.

It’s important to remember that they truly don’t know how to best help you. So, show them with these two methods:


Ask for Something Specific

I got into the habit of telling people – dinner is a hassle.  What Jose will eat one day, makes him sick the next. We love gift cards to local restaurants. Then, Jose can have a full menu of items to choose from rather than me becoming a short order cook on top of all the things I already have on my plate (pun intended).


Share a List

Asking for something specific is great when you know that someone truly can deliver on what you’re asking for. For others, I recommend giving them options. Share a list of things your family needs and let them choose which they’d like to help with. Then they don’t feel obligated to stretch beyond their means to assist you.


Both methods work.  Give it a try.

Our Gift to You

Our first gift to you is our Self-Care Planner.  Your health as a caregiver has a great impact on the overall health of the entire household.  Today, I encourage you to do this one thing for your mental and physical health and get started building your self-care plan.

As always, this is meant to be a conversation.  We'd love to hear from you.  Drop us a comment or to reach us directly, email us @ podcast@caregiversguidetocancer.com

1 Comment

  1. Steve Smith
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    I underwent resesection of my glioblastoma tumor on 1/11/2011. I saw, first hand the impact of the things people gave to help. My wife was so busy keeping me comfortable and my meds on schedule, she couldn’t take the time to run to the store or restaurant to use the gift cards. (Delivery of everything wasn’t a thing back then) So, what helped most was people bringing us cooked meals and making sure my wife had a break from time to time.

    Now that I am able, I close almost every email with, “Let me know if you need anything,” because the people who know me, know I will drop whatever I’m doing to help. But, you are right in the sense that they need to actually tell me what it is they need.


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