It’s sometimes hard to find the right way to support a caregiver. Maybe you’ve volunteered your time but you haven’t been taken up on the offer or you’re just not sure the best way to say that you’d like to help.
There‘s no limit on the amount of time you can give, and no amount is too small to show you care. Whether it‘s letting someone know you are thinking about them and willing to help or grabbing them a much-needed coffee, your time can make a huge difference in the life of a caregiver.
Let´s be real. It´s easy to see the dusty corners behind the sofa or the unwashed plates in the sink. But some days, these daily tasks get put on the back burner when there are other pressing priorities. Take the time to appreciate what you see and where you can tell the caregiver is spending their energy. Let them know that what they’re doing is appreciated and that not being perfect is totally fine.
Take charge and give them personal time
Taking time out of their day to care for themselves can be a big emotional struggle for caregivers. But little things like getting a haircut or going to the gym can really boost the mood and confidence during a tough time. You can try offering to do the shopping for them. You take the list and get the items they need, and they can use the time for themselves without feeling guilty that things are getting done.
Small gestures can be powerful
Let’s face it, some days won’t be easy. Long days at the hospital or what feels like a marathon of doctors’ visits can take the best out of everyone. On these days, it’s the little moments that can make all the difference. Provide some encouragement by dropping by with a fresh latte from their favorite coffee shop. If you’re not sure if they’ll be home, put it in a reusable warming cup and drop it on their front porch or at the hospital room with a note!
Don’t wait till they ask you
Offering help is nice, but caregivers may not take you up on your offer as they feel bad bothering you with their problems. Instead, offer active tasks you know need to be done. Something like, “Hey, want me to pick up the kids from school on Wednesdays? I’ll be in the area!”
During the holiday season, it’s all about food. Delicate Christmas cookies and heavily
prepared casseroles are the picture perfect servings of a perfect family. But these
holiday delights can add additional pressure onto a caregiver who doesn’t have time to
prepare and share picturesque dishes like they see on Instagram.
So why not share? Stop over with some of your homemade cookies or put a second lasagna in the oven to share.
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