Are you eager to support the caregiver in your life, but aren’t sure what to do?
Here are 5 of the best ways to help:
- If you live in the area, offer to pick up some groceries for him or her when you’re doing your shop. This kind gesture can be an enormous help and it won’t make the caregiver feel like you’re going too much out of your way if you say you are going to the grocery store regardless.
- Call a couple of times a week to let the caregiver know that you’re thinking of him/her. This phone call will allow the caregiver to vent about the frustrations and difficulties of the day that s/he may be holding inside. Don’t worry about saying something to make it all better. Just lend an ear! Express your sympathy by acknowledging the stressors of daily caregiving and remind them of your support.
- Offer to make dinner for your friend/family member one night. This will be a great way to spend time catching up and relieve the caregiver of one less thing to worry about. Alternately, invite the caregiver to go out to dinner at a nearby restaurant. Dining out can be a mini-vacation for a caregiver! When in doubt, always ask what the caregiver prefers to do and voice that you would be happy with either plan. Or you can have a healthy and delicious meal delivered right to the caregiver’s doorstep!
- Spend the day learning the basic care the caregiver provides for his/her loved one and help in anyway possible. Not many people understand a caregiver’s role in a sick or aging loved one’s daily life and it will mean a lot to both the caregiver and the cared-for that you took the time to learn. When the caregiver needs a weekend to rest or even an hour to spend some time alone, you can look after the cared-for loved one.
- Find out what the caregiver needs. Maybe it is something that will make caregiving a little easier, like a bath bench or a subscription to a delivery service. It might be something thoughtful for the caregiver, like a massage or spa service. Ask other family and friends to give! Anything that you give him/her will be appreciated. Start looking with a curated selection of gifts just for the caregiver.
Alexandra Axel was the first founding staff member at The Caregiver Space. As a New York native, Allie grew up people-watching and story-collecting, eventually pursuing her undergraduate degree from The College of New Jersey in sociology and creative writing. At The Caregiver Space, she worked with social media, graphic design, blogging, and program development to brand and grow an online community composed of, and focused on, caregivers. From the seedlings of an idea to the thriving community that it is today, Allie was there from the beginning to support the evolution of The Caregiver Space.
Allie enjoys writing poetry and short fiction, devouring books, biking, crafting, urban agriculture and imperfectly cooking. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her pup, Hen.