Home Care in Durham: 4 Things You Should Not Say to a Caregiver

July 22, 2016

Caregivers are often juggling all the tasks of daily home care for their spouse or loved one as well as themselves. It can be overwhelming and stressful if the caregiver does not make the effort to care for themselves. There are many ways for caregivers to find support by attending support groups with similar people, virtual gatherings online or special trainings sessions offered in the community or through various organizations. Caregivers are often isolated and alone with few visitors.

There are ways to help caregivers, but there are four things to keep in mind to avoid saying when offering to help.

  1. Let me know if you need anything. Many caregivers are overwhelmed with thousands of daily tasks and chores. The best thing is to observe when you go for a visit. Watch what foods they are eating or drinking and offer to bring the exact item during another visit. Don’t bring things they don’t want or need or a healthier version. Bringing exactly what the caregiver needs helps to maintain the routine and reduce stress.
  2. You’re exhausted. Have you thought about placing your loved one? Caregivers often think they can manage and may work themselves to exhaustion. The better choice is to visit frequently and become comfortable with what happens on a daily basis. When the caregiver feels comfortable you can offer to stay for a few hours to let the caregiver get away for a couple of hours. If you aren’t comfortable with that, you could offer to take them or pay for them to attend an adult day service or pay for someone to care for them.
  3. Why do you do that when you can do this? Don’t judge the caregivers by what they do. Ask open ended questions to see how you might be able to help. Talk with them to find out if there are things that you can help to do around the house. They may need help and not realize you can find a solution to their problem.
  4. You’re a saint! This puts much pressure on an already stressed out caregiver. They are probably doing all they can do and when they hear that you think they are a saint, it puts undue pressure on them to try even harder. Caregivers give all they can give and no one wants to add more pressure to an already overwhelming situation.

The little things do add up and take very little of your time for a couple of hours a month. It can mean a great deal to those that don’t have the time for adequate breaks and time to themselves.

Need home care in Chapel Hill? Call us and learn about how we can refer you a great caregiver.

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