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, so it’s not about spending a lot of money. Here are 5 easy ways you can offer support and love to a family Caregiver in your life TODAY:
- Listen. Be a safe place for them to vent and really communicate what they are going through. Often times 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 judgement.
- A hand written 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 and kindness that YOU see that they are doing an amazing job.
- 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 as well! 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 easy lunches.
- 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! Maybe it’s a weekend or overnight stay to get a restful night away. Getting a “break” is so important, and knowing their loved one is with someone they trust means the world!
- Donate a home service they need. With everything they are juggling, it’s normal for things to get put on the back burner. What do they need that could really take something off their To Do List? Maybe a yard service to come cut the grass and clean up the gardens. Or a handyman to fix a few of the odds and ends they’ve been wanting to do. A cleaning service is always appreciated!
At Sunways, we often are working 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!