Caregiver You Are Not Alone – Kate’s Story

A caregiver near you needs help. When people say, “Let me know if you need help,” when you are new to caregiving, some mean what they say. Others are simply being polite. We accept this and go on with our day.

For caregivers the need for help increases over time. Usually about the time friends and family drift away, busy with their on lives and responsibilities.

Once someone steps up to be the caregiver it’s easy for others to let them do it and assume they are fine. They are not fine. There is always something you can do to help. But. instead of asking the caregiver what that is I suggest you let them know what your going to do and then do it.

Here are a few suggestions: Picking up some groceries when you go to the store. Have teens cut the grass or shovel snow. Cook and deliver a meal once a month. Call for a friendly chat now and the and allow the caregiver to vent without judgment.

Every little bit helps and the caregiver near you will appreciate it. Insert your ideas in the form below. You may inspire someone to do it too.

When Family Doesn’t Help : Charlie’s Story

When someone steps up to be a caregiver, family members may say they will help when needed. Perhaps they are sincere in the moment but all too often the actual care is left to one person. Daily life takes over for those not actively involved and it is assumed the caregiver has everything under control.

That is probably true in the beginning, but as dementia advances and care becomes critical all day and night for months or years the caregiver becomes overwhelmed. Unfortunately this is also the time when too many family members refuse requests for help.

With so many living extraordinarily busy lives it is easy to to keep putting off assisting the caregiver with the promise do it next time. Sadly, next time never comes. Isolation, sleep depravation, and the inability to care for one’s own health take a toll on the caregiver leading to resentment, depression, and in some cases, the death of the caregiver.

Helping need not be difficult or time consuming. Small things can make a big difference:

  • Sit with the person needing care so the caregiver has a few minutes to shower without worry.
  • Provide a meal for the caregiver once a week.
  • Pick up groceries or prescriptions.
  • Take over lawn care.
  • Visit with your family member. Call when visits are not possible.
  • Let the caregiver know you appreciate all they do.
  • Listen to their cry for help. It could save a life.

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