Practical Ways to Help the Caregiver Caring for Your Loved Ones

Many of us are faced with, elderly, disabled, or needy relatives who require care 24/7. In such instances the burden for their care often falls to a specific caregiver who puts their own health and needs on hold to provide this care. Sadly, while  you may wish to help you are not able to give the time needed due to job and family responsibilities of your own. Since I am sure you want to help the current caregiver and show them how much their efforts mean to you her are some practical things that you can do to make life easier for them.

  1. Be willing to let the primary caregiver do their job. Work to avoid family conflicts that will add additional stress to the already overwhelming job that the caregiver is doing. If you are a sibling to the caregiver who is tending to your aged parents put aside old issues and pull together for the good of everyone involved.
  2. Be there to backup the current caregiver in the event of their illness or an illness in their family. Help by taking on the task of filing insurance and medical insurance paperwork and help to make the difficult decisions regarding your parent’s health care choices.
  3. Seek out support groups and others who will act as a sounding board for the caregiver. This type of group allows the caregiver to vent their frustrations without feeling ungrateful or guilty for those feelings.
  4. If the situation becomes to stressful for the caregiver or between yourselves and the caregiver seek professional outside help from someone who can act as a negotiator in the given situation.
  5. Assist the caregiver by providing web sites and books that address the illness that they are dealing with so that they can better deal with it.
  6. Provide a list of family members or others who are available to relieve the caregiver of certain duties. This may be as simple as finding someone willing to stay with the disabled person while the caregiver goes to the hairdresser or spends an evening out with friends.
  7. Encourage the caregiver to keep a journal expressing her feelings at different times of the day or under certain situations. This will act as a starting place to help others better see what the caregiver is facing on a daily basis and step in to relieve some of the day-to-day stress.
  8. Be specific in telling the caregiver where you can be of assistance or where others are better qualified. This will make it easier for the caregiver to know where she can seek advice and/or help.
  9. Lastly, make time to spend with the caregiver outside of the stressful, home/care environment. Take them to tea or out to a movie after arranging for a sitter. This shows you not only care about the job that they are doing but also about them as individuals with needs of their own. 

By following these simple steps you can help keep the caregiver’s moral up and keep them from giving up. In the long run it can prevent the caregiver from becoming ill and forcing you into the role of caregiver on a day-to-day basis for your loved one.

[tags]caregiver, caregiver relief, daily care, elderly care, disabled care, 24/7 care, full-time care, [/tags]