GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (ABC 4)- Caregivers take on the huge responsibility of caregiving for a loved one. But who provides care for the caregiver? Caregivers often suffer due to the heavy demands of providing all the physical, emotional and mental care of someone who needs it. If caregivers aren’t supported and cared for they’ll likely burn out, become overstressed or worse pass away before the person they’re caring for.
If you see a caregiver who needs a little support, here are some ways you can help:
Ask how they’re doing? Better, yet, ask how they’re feeling. Most caregivers aren’t asked this question. Though they are often asked about the person they’re caring for.
Wait for the real answer and don’t just accept ‘I’m fine.’
Listen if they need to vent their emotions.
Call or text with quick check-ins.
Offer to stay with the person in their care to give the caregiver a break.
Drop off a meal and try to make it large enough to freeze half for another time.
If you don’t cook, provide a gift card to a restaurant where they can order carry-out.
Start a food train to get others involved in providing a meal. Try to set up a consistent schedule so they know a meal is always available a certain day of the week.
When you’re at the grocery store, text and see if they need anything.
Offer to clean the person’s home or hire a cleaning company to do it.
Send them a card to acknowledge the care they’re giving.
Share information about support groups and encourage them to get involved.
Pray for them or with them.
Hire out yard maintenance or ask neighbor kids to pull weeds, mow the lawn.
Offer to do housework like a load of laundry, vacuum the carpet or dust furniture.
Drop off flowers.
Run errands for them.
Offer to be a back-up person for emergencies.
Drive the person in their care to an appointment.
Ask them how you can help.
For more tips and resources on caregiving visit https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/
(Sponsored by AARP Michigan)