There are approximately 40 million individuals providing unpaid care to adults 65 and older in the United States alone, according to the Pew Research Center. Oftentimes, this type of care involves a parent or other older relative. If you know someone who regularly provides this type of care, here are eight things you can do to inspire the family caregiver in your life.
1. Take Things Off the Caregiver’s To-Do List
You can inspire a family caregiver you know to ease his or her stress by lending a hand whenever possible. If you don’t feel comfortable helping with direct care, take other things off the caregiver’s to-do list by mowing his or her yard, running some of his or her errands, or taking care of other things you’re able to do.
A great way to show your support for a family caregiver is to help him or her find a compassionate professional to help with the caregiving duties. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide elder care. Turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
2. Offer Encouragement
It may seem like a small thing, but encouraging words can mean a lot to a family caregiver who normally performs care tasks without worrying about acknowledgement. Even letting the caregiver know you can see how his or her efforts are making a difference can provide some comfort and inspiration.
3. Be There to Listen
All too often, family caregivers put their own feelings on the back burner so they can focus on providing care. Inspire someone you know who accepts this added burden to maintain his or her mental health by reminding him or her you’re available when he or she needs to talk.
4. Treat the Caregiver to Much-Appreciated “Me Time”
If you know the senior being cared for and you feel comfortable staying with him or her for a while, volunteer to do this when you can. Doing so can inspire a family caregiver to treat him or herself to some guilt-free “me time.” Even just having some free time to go for walks or enjoy a visit to a favorite salon can be very much appreciated.
Another way to support a family caregiver is to research high-quality agencies that can help with some of the caregiving responsibilities. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Anchorage elderly home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
5. Invite the Caregiver Over for Dinner
Family caregivers sometimes get into the habit of being more cautious about their loved ones’ diets than their own. If you notice this is the case, extend invitations to well-balanced meals when you can. Another option is to make some healthy meals the caregiver can heat up to inspire him or her to eat healthier.
6. Help the Caregiver Focus on the Positive Aspects of Caring for a Loved One
It’s common for family caregivers to get wrapped up in the whirlwind of daily routines, sometimes to the point where they forget the good things about taking on this responsibility. Inspire a family caregiver by reminding him or her about meaningful benefits of being a caregiver, including:
• Bonding with a loved one as an adult
• Creating new memories
• Boosting a loved one’s quality of life
7. Give Special “Just Because” Gifts
Brighten a family caregiver’s day by treating him or her to useful or inspiring “just because” gifts now and then. You can go with something like a “World’s Best Caregiver” t-shirt or practical things like gift cards.
8. Steer the Caregiver toward Other Caregiving Options
Inspire a family caregiver you know to take advantage of other care options if you notice he or she is overwhelmed. It’s often possible to find a healthy balance between caregiving needs and personal obligations by considering acceptable care alternatives, which could include:
• Respite care
• In-home care assistance
• Asking for/accepting help from other family members
Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Anchorage families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home. Call Home Care Assistance today at (907) 770-0907 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.