Caregiving Isn’t Easy
When our parents get older, time with them becomes precious. Some of us have the blessing of still being able to have fun with our parents, enjoy a game of cards, eating out at a new restaurant, going on a road trip just because. There are others who are not blessed with this kind of time with their parents. They are spending their time helping them in and out of bed, cooking and feeding them every meal, reminding them for the thousandth time who they are, and maybe holding their hand all night to keep them from being frightened.
This second group of children has an enormous burden that they shoulder, night and day, day after day, all day, every day. They tend to lose self because their life has become about someone else. They are exhausted, isolated, frustrated, and at times angry. We all know them, especially as more of our parents are getting older. Most of us know a “poor Janice” that is struggling to keep her family going, helping with her parents, in-laws, and maybe juggling a job.
Easy Ways to Help a Caregiver
Instead of saying “poor Janice”, we need to be saying, “What can I do to help you, Janice?” It has been my experience that these helping souls are extremely hesitant to ask for help. They are doing what has to be done. There are so many helpful things that can ease their burden that is easy to do.
- Offer to go to the store for them
- Take them supper so they don’t have to cook
- Offer to sit with their parent for a couple of hours to allow them some time away
- Go by and give them a pedicure
- Call and let them know you are going to the library and offer to pick up some books
- Give them a visit with some flowers out of your garden
- Mow their yard for them
- Weed their flower bed for them
- Send a Facebook message to remind them someone is thinking about them
None of these acts take very long but they can mean the world to a 24-hour caregiver. Be that friend. Offer. Give. Bless.