5 Ways You Can Support a Family Caregiver
Being a family caregiver, especially for an aging loved one, can be a taxing journey. It’s often a thankless job, and very few people really know what it entails…emotionally, physically, financially, or mentally. If you have a family caregiver in your life who’s a family member or friend, there are some ways you can support them. Many times, the smallest gesture goes the furthest; it’s not about spending a lot of money.
Here are five easy ways you can offer support and love to a family caregiver in your life TODAY:
1. Listen. Be a safe place for them to vent and communicate what they are going through. Often, they aren’t looking for a solution or answers. Offering up ideas to “fix things” isn’t what they’re hoping to find. It’s a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear without judgment.
2. A handwritten note or call to say, “I see you.” Family Caregivers are some of the most selfless people you will ever meet. The amount of decisions they make, fires they put out, and tasks they accomplish on any given day can make your head spin. They aren’t looking for a thank you or praise, but it means so much to get words of acknowledgment that YOU see that they are doing an amazing job.
3. Take care of a meal. One of the hardest parts of being a family caregiver is the coordination of meals! Usually, they are not just responsible for their loved one, but also other family members, maybe a spouse or kids! Drop off a homemade freezer meal that they can pull out when they’ve had a tough day. Maybe a Bite Squad gift card for easy delivery, or a handful of microwave meals that will make fast lunches.
4. Offer to watch their loved one so they can get some respite. Maybe its 2 or 3 hours one afternoon so they can get a massage or grocery shop in peace! Perhaps it’s a weekend or overnight stay to get a restful night away. Getting a break is important, and knowing their loved one is with someone they trust means the world!
5. Donate a home service they need. With everything a caregiver is juggling, it’s normal for things to get put on the back burner. Could you take something off their to-do list? Maybe hire a yard service to cut the grass and clean up the gardens or a handyman to fix a few odds and ends. A cleaning service is always appreciated!
At Sunways, we often work directly with family caregivers and ask ourselves daily: “Who’s caring for the caregivers?” Hopefully, this has given you some ideas on ways you can reach out to a family caregiver in your life today and show them that you care!