Giving Back to the Caregiver in Your Family
July 30, 2015
Being a caregiver is a selfless act. It means putting the needs of another before your own, and often before the needs of your husband, children and job. It can be one of the most stressful roles a person takes on in their lifetime. If a family member is caring for a loved one, there are many ways you can give back to make their life just a little bit less stressful.
Give the Gift of Time. One of the biggest complaints caregivers have is being over-scheduled and stressed. All the hours of the day are scheduled with appointments, tasks and responsibilities. It can seem as if there is no time to simply stop and enjoy a cup of coffee, take a walk or watch TV. Help the caregiver in your family by giving the gift of time. Volunteer to take over their role for a day so they can get away. If you are unable to help in person, hire an in home care agency to provide respite care for your loved one. A professional elder care provider will care for your loved one and allow your family member to get away for a much needed break.
Run the Errands. One of the hardest parts of acting as the family caregiver is to balance being at home providing care while still finding time to run errands and ensure the house is stocked with necessary supplies. Help your family caregiver by taking over the shopping list and running errands for them.
Clean the House. Keeping up with housework can be difficult for some family caregivers. This is especially true when your loved one’s health begins to fail or if they have to spend time in the hospital. This is a great time to hire a cleaning service to come in and help your family caregiver with housekeeping chores.
Fill the Tank. Your family caregiver probably spends more time in the car than you realize. Between running errands and taking your loved one to doctor appointments, the gas tank is constantly in need of being filled. Help your family caregiver out by offering to fill the tank. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way.
Stay in Touch. It’s easy to get distracted by our own life responsibilities and forget to check in with the family caregiver. Don’t let life distract you from this essential task. Check in regularly to see how things are going and to provide your family caregiver with an outlet to share, vent or just talk about anything but caregiving.
If you start to see signs that being the caregiver is too much for your loved one, talk to them about senior home care services. Agencies like Visiting Angels provide in home care services for seniors who want to continue living at home. Your family may benefit from these services. In home care services can also include respite care for family caregivers.
According to Larry Meigs, President and CEO of Visiting Angels, “Respite care provides a much needed break for family caregivers. It allows the family caregiver to get away and take some time to do the things they want or need to do for themselves. A regular schedule of in home care services can take much needed pressure off the family caregiver.”
The caregiver in your family is a blessing to your loved one. Help them stay energized by supporting them in their role.