6 Ways to Help a Caregiver

supportBeing a caregiver is a tough job. It takes love and a tremendous amount of commitment and patience to care for someone day in and day out. Caregiving can feel thankless, be exhausting and leave the caregiver feeling isolated. So what can you do to help? Here are our best tips for showing love and providing support to the caregivers you know.

  1. Give them a break. If the care they provide isn’t medically intensive, perhaps you could stand in for a while or hire a companion to stay for a day. Book the caregiver for a manicure or a massage and send him or her out the door for a break! But don’t feel obligated to plan their time for them. The gift of freedom may be the best thing you can provide.
  2. Make a meal. After a stressful day, the last thing you want to do is cook dinner. Take this task off a caregiver’s plate! Provide freezer meals or something piping hot and ready to dig into to make their day easier. If cooking isn’t your thing, gift cards to favorite restaurants are a great option, too!
  3. Provide child care. If the caregiver you know is part of the sandwich generation — where someone is caring for an aging family member and young children at the same time — help with the kids. Set up a play date with your own children or see if you can take their children out for a day of fun. Oftentimes people who are caring for so many feel guilty that their children aren’t having as much fun time as they would like. Alleviate the guilt and the stress by providing that escape for the kids.
  4. Arrange an indulgence. When someone selflessly gives of themselves all the time, there’s little time for indulgences. Arrange a luxury treat for the caregiver like a gym membership, a subscription to Netflix or a monthly delivery club membership (think wine, meals, coffee or tea). Creating moments of escape are vital to keeping caregivers’ stress levels under control and maintaining happiness.
  5. Be a handyman. It can be tough to stay ahead of home maintenance when so much of a person’s time is spent caring for a loved one. Step in and serve as a handyman for the day. You could cut grass, power wash the home and sidewalks or weed, plant and mulch beds. Gift certificates for handyman and home cleaning services are wonderful treats, as well.
  6. Run errands. You know how hard it is to accomplish everything on your to-do list. Imagine attempting it while caring full time for someone else. Book them some time slots with Errand Works.

Whatever type of support you offer, remember to be specific. Asking open-ended questions like “What can I do to help?” may never be met with an answer, because when you’re overwhelmed, it’s hard to narrow down what would be helpful. Instead say, “I would like to hire a reputable companion for you for the day, so you can take a break. What day is good for you?”

Errand Works understands the challenges caregivers face. We are licensed, bonded, and insured and committed to improving the lives of our customers by simplifying their days. Contact us today for a variety of errand services for you or a caregiver you know.