6 Ways To Help A Caregiver

January 4, 2016

Caring for aging parents, a chronically ill spouse or a disabled child can be difficult especially for the full-time caregiver. Nearly 40 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult in the last year. 1 out of 10 caregivers is over age 75.

The typical caregiver is a 49 year-old woman caring for a parent which is most likely their mother. If they work outside the home it is for about 35 hours a week. The average caregiver has been doing this for 4 years for about 24 hours each week performing medical or nursing tasks like shots, feeding tubes, catheters or colostomy care. Caregiving for a spouse takes an average of 44.6 hours a week, nearly double for the average caregiver.

Caregivers need help and support to do their jobs well. If you are wondering how you can lend a hand, here are 6 tips to help.

  1. Make Escape Possible

Allow the caregiver some time away from the spouse, elderly parent or child. Knowing the person that is offering the help makes the time away better so there is less worrying about what might happen. Pitch in while you are there and do some laundry or cook dinner.

  1. Make the Offer Specific and Nail It Down

Be specific and nail down when you will be there and what you will help to do. Readily volunteer information so there is less to ask or wonder about.

  1. Divide and Conquer

Offer to help do the little things. Can you run errands, make dinner, take the person to a doctor appointment? You can even help prepare drinks, help with meds or help them eat a meal.

  1. Don’t Take No for an Answer

If the caregiver says they don’t need help, call back and ask again. Some people find it difficult to admit they need assistance.

  1. Ease the Sense of Isolation

Come and visit. Caregiving can be lonely. If you don’t live close by, call, email or text to check-in and see how things are going. You can also take a meal by or help to clean and lighten the load of the caregiver.

  1. Take Care of the Caregiver

Spend some time with the caregiver. Try to get a sense of their mental health. Are they depressed, burned out or lonely? Drop by and just listen and let the person vent if they are having a hard day. Be ready to offer encouragement, suggestions or support.


Looking for someone to provide care in your home?

Call for a free consultation. We serve Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and other towns.

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