Thursday, June 12, 2014

16 Things To Do For A Weary Caregiver

According to The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, there are roughly 44.4 million caregivers in America. Odds are, you either know someone who is a caregiver, you’re caring for a family member yourself, or you will care for your parents someday in the future. Caregivers are selfless individuals, who either work alone at home or depend on family members for support. Caring for another person isn’t easy – it’s a full-time occupation. These men and women are strong, devoted, and loyal members of society.

Working singularly is the norm for most caregivers, because they prefer to tackle the situation on their own. This is understandable, as they would know best on how to care for a disabled or elderly family member. However, living as a caregiver can grow into a lonely task. Most friends or neighbors either don’t understand a caregiver’s situation or are uncomfortable on how to approach them. Caregivers don’t have to feel isolated. You can help.

Caregivers are independent and often forget to take care of themselves. They may appear to brush off help, but inwardly, they need it. Everyone appreciates a little assistance here and there. They may shy away from too much attention, but encouragement and support for their occupation is greatly appreciated. Your kindness won’t go unnoticed, and you may be the refreshing break that they need from their crazy routine.

*Note* This does not apply to every caregiver.

1. Send he/she an encouraging note card that says “I was thinking of you.”

2. Offer to make them a meal for lunch or dinner and drop it off at their residence. Or if they’d prefer, provide them with food from a restaurant.

3. Keep them in your prayers.

4. If they have kids, offer to take them on a fun outing for the day. Kids in a caregiver’s home will love the attention, and the parent/parents will relish the rest.

5. Buy them a cookbook for quick and easy recipes. Caregivers are limited on time, and this would make a great gift for their daily meals.

6. Set up an event party at their home for a game or movie night.

7. Call ahead to see if you could stop by for a brief visit. Lend an ear and listen to their story.

8. Offer to swing by and be Cinderella for the day. Make dinner, wash dishes, sweep and vacuum the floor, mow the lawn, walk the dog, clean the cat litter box, and empty the garbage.

9. Gift a journal, a candle, and a devotional to the family.

10. Surprise them with a gift in the mail. A bouquet of flowers. A coffee mug and a gift card to a coffee shop. Pamper them with a basket of bath and body products.

11. Give them a hug and a smile. Let them know through your actions that you’re there for encouragement.

12. Invite them to a support group, book club, or a Bible study. Caregivers are busy and they will be grateful for the invitation. Because of their schedule, they may decline it. This, of course, depends entirely on the caregiver’s position.

13. Offer to pick up their groceries and run misc. errands.

14. Plan a birthday party at their home. Holidays are hectic. Imagine how much more hectic it is for caregivers. Ask how you can best help them during the holidays. String lights, set up a Christmas tree, bake cookies. Put together a wonderful birthday celebration for their kids.

15. Do they need a wheelchair, walker, or even a heated blanket? With their permission, start a fund for raising money to supply the needed item.

16. Share with them these helpful websites:,,,,,

Most of all, weary caregivers need your love. Be there for a caregiver, and they won’t feel alone.