Typically, caregivers are defined as professionals who provide care to the elderly. That may include anything from housekeeping to non-professional medical support. However, according to the American Geriatrics Society, approximately 30% of adults over 65 need assistance for daily living. This task often falls on the shoulders of family, friends, and neighbors.
Those who are so generous rarely ask for help in return. However, there are many things you can do to support those who care for your elderly parents, grandparents, or other family members. Here are five ways to better understand and support those who serve as caregivers in your life.
1. Give Them a Break
Offer to give caregivers time off to take care of themselves. You can hire a private nurse or take over caregiving duties yourself, if possible. According to a recent report from the AARP, 24% of caregivers care for more than one person, which can be an additional stressor. Additionally, 61% of family caregivers also have jobs. Giving a caregiver the day off can help them decompress and rest without having to worry about those they care for.
2. Show Your Appreciation
Regardless of whether you have a sibling, another relative, or an acquaintance taking care of those close to you, show your appreciation. This may consist of something simple such as sending a thank you card or bringing them a cup of coffee a few times a month. No matter how small the gesture may be, your efforts will be appreciated.
3. Provide an Attentive Ear
Caregivers often feel overwhelmed with their tasks, and they may not have anyone to talk to about what they go through on a day-to-day basis. Give them a chance to vent and express any concerns they may have. Try to understand if there is anything you can do to make their job easier. Hear them out without interruption or judgment and show them you understand their sacrifice and frustration. Increased communication with a caregiver can lead to a healthier environment for them and those being cared for.
4. Encourage Them to Find Support Groups
Sometimes, the best support comes from strangers. When caregivers feel isolated and lonely, it is important to remind them they are not alone. There are many support groups designed with caregivers in mind. Often, these groups act as lifelines and safe spaces to get advice, encouragement, and companionship. A quick search online can refer you to support groups for caregivers in your area.
5. Help Make the Day Go Smoother
Caregivers are notoriously selfless and often neglect their own chores and self-care so they can focus on the person who most needs their help. Caregiving consists of assisting with activities that are a part of daily living. These tasks may include laundry, tidying up, vacuuming, and preparing meals. You can help take pressure off full-time caregivers. Assisting in these activities and spending time with your loved one can help lighten the workload of the caregiver. If the caregiver isn’t living in the home, you may offer to do acts of service for their own home, such as shoveling snow or mowing the lawn. When caregivers become deeply involved in another person’s life, receiving help can be a great relief for them.
Products and Services to Make Life Easier for Caregivers
All-Star Medical offers devices and equipment that can make life a little easier for caregivers and those they care for. We offer medical equipment that can facilitate caregiving duties, such as wheelchair ramps, lifts, and other medical equipment. Contact us today or shop online for helpful products to make caregiving easier.