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5 Ways to Help a Caregiver this MonthNovember 1st, 2016 by
November is a month that is typically focused on being thankful, so what better time to demonstrate your appreciation for the caregiver in your life than during National Family Caregivers Month? Whether a caregiver you know is a family member or a friend, any gesture of kindness will be appreciated during one of the busiest times of the year.
1. Cook a Meal (or Two)
The activities that may seem so commonplace to you are at the center of a caregiver’s workday. Offering to cook a meal from start to finish will free up some time for the caregiver in your life.
This simple avocado caprese skillet chicken requires simple ingredients, minimal cooking skill, and less than an hour of your time to cook. Just add a salad and a grain, and your meal is ready.
If you’re looking for a vegetarian dish, consider a stir fry. You can use whatever vegetables you want and then add meat to individual plates without contaminating the whole skillet of vegetables.
2. Give a Caregiver the Day Off
If you want to go a step further, volunteering to take care of all the daily responsibilities might help restore the excessive energy required of a caretaker. Be sure to stick to the loved one’s routine so as not to disrupt their normal schedule; some people may not react well to abrupt changes like eating an hour later than usual.
Walking in the caregiver’s shoes will also renew your appreciation for the effort he or she puts forth on a daily basis. If not given a day off every so often, the caregiver may develop caregiver burnout. If you don’t feel you have adequate time for this, consider hiring a handyman or housecleaner for them.
3. Clean the House
Attending to a loved one’s needs is the focus of a caregiver’s work, but the house has to be clean for him or her to do the job. Various books, coats, shoes, or other items scattered about the house can create hazardous walking situations for both the caretaker and the person being taken care of.
If the house is not vacuumed often, dust and dirt will build up and may cause health complications for not only the loved one needing assistance but also the other members of the household.
Depending on how active the household is in terms of children and pets, a caregiver may find him or herself spending more time picking up after others than actually taking care of the person who needs it most. Keeping a tidy house assists the caregiver in more ways than you think.
4.Verbalize Your Appreciation
A spoken or written acknowledgement of the work the caregiver puts in can go a long way toward expressing your appreciation. Many times, people get used to the idea of a family caregiver and forget to consider exactly how much they do. A genuine compliment that takes note of the details of the caregiver’s life will boost his or her mood as well as yours, and it expresses that their work does not go unnoticed.
5. Engage Actively
Be sure to earnestly check in with a caregiver. When we get caught up in our own busy schedules, we often forget to listen, paraphrase, and respond to effectively communicate. Taking some time every day to actively listen to the caregiver deepens empathy and creates a more cooperative household.
As you take stock of everything you’re thankful for this month, go the extra mile and express your gratitude toward the caregiver in your life. Caring for a caregiver is easy if you take some time to help them with their responsibilities, give them a night off, and take an active interest in their triumphs and struggles.