It can be hard to see a friend who is caring for someone struggling. Whether it’s finding time to care for their loved one or themselves, words of encouragement are precious, but the right words can be difficult to find. Here are some ideas on what to say to a caregiver to encourage or offer help
I can tell you are doing everything you can. And that’s amazing.
Caregivers are often their own hardest critic. The fear of being not enough can be a constant, haunting thought. That’s why friends are so important in recognizing and voicing that what they are doing is truly great – because sometimes it´s the little things that keep them going.
I have lots of leftovers from dinner – do you want some?
For stressful days between doctors’ appointment and chores, a ready-made meal is a heavenly treat. Just cook a little more and drop them off ready to be frozen.
I’m at the grocery store – do you need anything?
It´s the little things that count. For caregiver, time is a very valuable resource. So when it comes to getting things like stamps at the post office or apples from the grocery store, it can be a huge help if someone offers to help without making them feel like it’s a burden. So, next time you are at the grocery store, give them a call.
How are you really doing?
This phrase is part of our daily life – but how often do we really mean those words?
The next time you are around, take five minutes to what they’re going through. It can be a big help.
It will all get better / It’s not that bad, don’t worry.
You guessed right; this is something you shouldn’t say to a caregiver. Even if you intend to cheer someone up, it can actually have the opposite effect. Not all caregiving stories will have a happy ending, which is a sad reality. By telling someone it will all be better, can make them think they are blowing it out of proportion, or their role isn’t a big deal. Instead, be realistic and honest, saying things like, “This sounds scary – I can´t imagine how you feel right now but I can tell that you are so strong. I admire that!”
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