My wife, Laura, has been my caregiver for the past 16 years. I believe caregivers have the toughest jobs. As the patient, I know my job. I take my meds, listen to my doctors and take care of myself. Of course there is more, but you get the point. The caregiver’s role is much more complicated. There is no playbook on being a caregiver. At least as a patient, I get some patient pamphlets.
We can never forget the caregivers that are living around us. They could be your neighbor. They could be your coworker, who is not only working a full time job, but is then going home to take care of a loved one. They could be in your own family. They are the unsung heroes. I want to encourage everyone who knows a caregiver, to make sure they are taking care of themselves. Most of the time, they are so focused on caring for their loved one they forget to take care of themselves. Here are a few ways you can help a caregiver in your life.
***Volunteer to sit with their loved one, so they can have some time to themselves.
***Offer to go grocery shopping for them. Or sit with their loved one, so they can go grocery shopping.
***Offer to give their loved one a ride to an appointment. So many caregivers are taking time off from work to take their loved one to doctors appointments, treatments or therapy.
***Offer to clean their house or pay for their house to be cleaned.
***Offer to cook for them. Start a Meal Train.
There are many other ways to help, these are just a few. I encourage everyone to reach out to a caregiver and offer a helping hand. The focus tends to be on the patient and sometimes we forget about the caregiver. Please do not let a caregiver walk the journey alone. ~OC