I often discuss the unique burden that comes with being a family caregiver. Daughters and sons bear the weight of care for their senior loved one, providing meals, housekeeping, and much more. On top of this, they have other responsibilities outside of providing care for their senior parents. A term that is often used to describe this demographic is “Sandwich Generation”. These dedicated family caregivers are sandwiched between caring for their parents and caring for their own children. Often they are too busy to ask for help and don’t even know where to look for help.
With our rapidly growing senior population, you most likely know someone who is a family caregiver or you are one yourself. If you know someone who is balancing this role I have a question for you, “how can you care for the family caregiver in your life?”
Here are a few ways you can provide small moments of rest to the family caregivers you know:
1. Drop off a Meal. Sending a meal is common for new moms or those dealing with sickness and other big life events. But it’s not something that is often done or thought of for family caregivers. And the good news is you don’t even have to cook, schedule a delivery service or pick up take-out from their favorite restaurant as a thoughtful treat.
2. Schedule a Housekeeping Service. Give the gift of a housekeeper for a month. Set up a cleaning service so the family caregiver doesn’t have to clean their senior loved one’s home and their own home as well. A home is meant to be an oasis, a place of rest, but the busy and often stressful schedule of a family caregiver can quickly turn a home into another chore.
3. Cut the Grass. Maybe you know your neighbors are dealing with a lot. One simple thing you can do is cut the grass for them.
4. Pick up the Kids. If the family caregiver you know has young kids, offer to pick them up from school or drop them off at soccer practice. It’s a small way you can create some space in their schedule.
5. Ask. Ask the family caregiver how you can help. Be sure to communicate that you want to help and don’t be content with a polite answer. Many family caregivers have a hard time asking for help. If your friend gives you a task, however small, be sure to do it! It was hard for them to ask, so be sure to listen to their needs.
If you are the family caregiver, Preferred Care at Home can provide the respite care you need. We understand how hard it is to ask for help, but we can be by your side every step of the way. Contact a location near you to learn more.
Do you have some other ideas on how to care for the family caregivers you know? Comment below to share them!
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