If you are the primary caregiver in your family, then you’ll be able to relate to this blog post. It can be exhausting to care for an aging parent or a family member 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are going to need a break — a time to regroup and re-energize yourself. You may not want to admit exhaustion and although taking a break isn’t on the schedule, but here are some ways you can help care for the caregiver:
Take the person in care away: If the person in care can still travel, offer to take him or her into your home for a week or more. Make the travel arrangements yourself. If your aging family member cannot travel alone, do not ask your family caregiver to get him or her back and forth. Instead, work out a plan where you can pick-up and return. Give your caregiver the ultimate luxury of a week at home with no responsibilities for anyone else.Visit often: If you live less than a few hours away, then make time each month to drive over and visit. Schedule these times with the caregiver so that he/she can plan to be away while you are visiting. Do something that will free up the caregiver’s duties. For example, pack a lunch and eat with the aging parent. Bring groceries along too so that you can make dinner.
Find local or online support groups: A caregiver support group is a great way to share your situation and find people who are going through the same experiences that you are living each day. In the support groups we have been involved in, typically people will talk about the challenges they are facing and listen to others talk; you will not only get help, but you will also be able to help others who are facing similar situations. We think the biggest thing you will get out of joining a support group is that you will find out that you are not alone. It will make you feel better knowing that other people are in the same situation, and their knowledge can be invaluable, especially if they are caring for someone with the same illness as you are.
Companion Care: Offer to provide a service, like FirstLight Home Care, to come to the home with their Companion Care services. This can provide your caregiver with needed breaks they need to get rejuvenated during the day or week, and your loved one with some valuable diversions and activities that a Companion Care service can provide.
What are some other suggestions or recommendations for supporting a caregiver? Write a comment on our blog or stop by our Facebook page and post ideas on our wall.