Caregivers are heavily relied on to take care of those who need help. Because they seem so capable and reliable, most of the time people forget that they are also human and they need help too. When caregivers become overwhelmed with caregiving burdens, many will suffer in silence because they think they are not supposed to ask for help. They view themselves as the helpers. So, how to help caregivers? Do you know a caregiver you could help?
Here are some top tips to let them know you appreciate them:
1. Time Off
If you have caregivers working for you, give them time off to relax for a while. Arrange for someone else to take over whilst they take the necessary time to look after themselves. You could also find or volunteer to go to an elderly day care center for a couple of hours. They need time off too.
2. Be a Listening Ear
If your caregiver is suffering from compassion fatigue due to a secondary trauma, you might want to help them by finding them a professional or trusted listening ear. Could you be a listening ear? Is there anyone who will offer impartial and practical advice. Do you have someone in your family who could listen to them, or even a professional counselor if needed? Remember a problem shared is a problem halved. You could reduce the caregiver’s burden just by listening to them.
3. Go Out
Take your caregiver friend out for dinner or to do something fun together. If your caregiver is a paid nurse, your tokens of appreciation may not be allowed if you are the care recipient. However, if you are a friend or family member, a small gesture of giving your caregiver a treat will be most appreciated. It is also a chance for them to meet new people and way of clearing their minds.
4. Give them Healthy Food
How to help caregivers stay healthy? Provide tasty, nutritious food for your caregiver or treat your caregiver friend to a fine meal. Healthy food is not only good for your body, but good for the soul too.
5. Exercise with them
Could you exercise with your caregiver? Exercise is great for posture, breathing, body strength, heart rate, toning, to name just a few benefits. Exercise also releases powerful endorphins that elevates mood. As many caregivers suffer from poor night’s sleep, exercise is important as it helps people get a proper night’s rest.
6. Assist them
Where possible, we could help the caregivers take care of their patients and let them rest for a while. Assisting them will let them know that they are not alone. It also gives them an opportunity for them to speak their mind and to share their concerns about the care recipient with those who help them.
7. Encourage them
Always show an interest in what they are doing and tell them how much you appreciate the good they do. Words of encouragement can be like water in a parched land.
8. Introduce them to Support Groups
There are many support groups which are dedicated in helping caregivers. Make sure that just as your caregiver supports their care recipient, they too, have their own support network.
9. Personal Growth
Encourage your caregiver friend to grow in education and in personal development. Help them to identify a career path that will truly reward them. Encourage them to set goals, as this will also help them focus on not just their care recipient, but on themselves too.
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