Caregiving is a noble pursuit. Many people take on the challenges of caring for a loved one. However, it is also a tough road to travel. Rough patches can leave family caregivers feeling down, feeling as if they are all alone and that no one cares. There are ways to help support caregivers and remind them that you are there for them. Here are some tips.
• Listen without judgement: Be someone the caregiver can go to and vent frustrations. Provide support and encouragement, and do not give unsolicited advice.
• Keep in touch: Be someone who reaches out to the caregiver. Call him or her to check on how he or she is doing, send motivational cards in the mail, etc.
• Educate yourself: Learn about the disorders the care receiver has. This can help you understand what challenges the caregiver might be facing.
• Remind the caregiver of self-care: It’s not uncommon for caregivers to neglect their own needs. Be there to remind them to take care of themselves as well.
• Ask, don’t guess: Rather than assuming what the caregiver needs or wants, ask. He or she will more than likely be happy to tell you.
Caregivers are more likely to perform their duties well if they have a good support system. If you can, try to be part of that support system.