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How can I Provide Caregiver Support?

Bethney Foster
Bethney Foster

You can provide caregiver support by remembering that in most instances a caregiver is unable to leave the home, is pressed for time by care giving responsibilities, and rarely has a break from the demands of care giving tasks. This is true whether the caregiver is responsible for young children, an ill spouse or sibling, or a parent with dementia. Offering services and assistance that allow the caregiver to leave the home, even for an hour, and that help the caregiver to complete the multitude of chores that come with care giving are the best ways to provide caregiver support.

When running errands, think about what the caregiver may need to do but can’t because of the inability to leave the home. Offer to pick up groceries, go to the bank, or take care of other necessary tasks. Caregiver support can also include finding ways to let the caregiver know you care. This might include visiting the library and checking out a few books you think the caregiver would enjoy, buying a few magazines for the caregiver, or renting a movie to drop by the home for the evening.

One way of offering caregiver support is to look after the patient for a few hours, giving the caregiver some free time.
One way of offering caregiver support is to look after the patient for a few hours, giving the caregiver some free time.

Think of some ways you can complete some chores for the caregiver. Take dinner to the family once or twice a week. Whether it’s a homemade meal or carryout, it will save the caregiver from the preparation and clean-up that accompanies making a meal. Offer to do laundry, shovel snow, or other chores.

The caregiver support that may be appreciated most is the opportunity for the caregiver to leave the home for a few hours. If you have free time, offer to sit with the patient while the caregiver runs errands or just has some personal time. Ensure that you know how to care for the patient, including what the schedules are for medications and where supplies are kept, before the caregiver leaves the home. If at all possible, avoid calling the caregiver during the time you are sitting with the patient.

Other thoughtful gestures can provide caregiver support. This can include a card, phone call, or text message. Stopping by for a visit is often even more appreciated because many caretakers feel as if they loose touch with people outside the home. Try to remember the caregiver’s birthday, anniversary, and other special occasions. With the stress and redundancy of care giving, often these special days are forgotten or go unacknowledged.

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    • One way of offering caregiver support is to look after the patient for a few hours, giving the caregiver some free time.
      By: Rido
      One way of offering caregiver support is to look after the patient for a few hours, giving the caregiver some free time.