10 Reasons Why Helping a Family Caregiver Will Be the Best Thing You Do This Weekend

Denise
summer-1346286_640(Editor’s Note: On a regular basis, we do our best to get as much help as possible for family caregivers, those individuals who care for a family member or friend. We hope this article encourages others to get involved. You can help, too, by sharing this article across your social networks.)

This weekend, you may have tickets to a baseball game purchased or a day at the beach organized or a night out with friends planned.

All fun stuff you work hard to enjoy.

I've got another item to add to this weekend's To Do List: Helping a family caregiver. "Oh, no," you may think, "I couldn't do that."

You can! Chances are you know someone, either in your family or in your circle of friends, who cares for a family member with a chronic illness or debilitating disease. Your help, which could total just one hour out of your weekend, could be the highlight of your weekend. Here's why:

1. When you help an individual who cares for a family member, you make a difference. Whether you mow the lawn or run errands or wash the wheelchair, you make the day easier for someone who has more difficult days than easy ones.

2. Doing good for others does good for you. Studies show that volunteering makes you happy.

3. You may think the meaning of life can be found at the bottom of your bottle of beer. Beer just tastes good -- it really can't help you find the good life. The act of caregiving -- giving care to another -- holds life's meaning. You'll see the good in life when you spend time with a family caregiver.

4. When you leave the ballpark or the beach or the venue, no one will know you were there. When you leave a family caregiver's house, two people -- the family caregiver and the caree -- will know you were there and they'll remember you with a warm glow for days after.

5. Because you give an hour or two, a family caregiver gains an hour or two and may be able to spend time on something or time with someone he or she loves. That's an amazing impact to have an another person.

6. Your help will ease a family caregiver's worry ("How will I get this done") during a time when too many worries mean too little sleep. So, when you're out late having fun, you can feel great knowing you gave someone else a good night's sleep.

7. Helping another helps you achieve better health. Studies show that those who volunteer to help others have better health than those who don't.

8. Your help doesn't require training or studying or practicing. In order to be of help, you just have show up with a smile and a willing heart. And, maybe some donuts and coffee.

9. Giving back when you've received so much means you'll continue to receive.

10. You are meant to enjoy life. And, you'll enjoy life more when you know you've improved the day for two people.

What can you do to help? We've got some suggestions:

1. Installing grab bars in the caree’s bathroom.
2. Adding no-skid backing on all throw rugs.
3. Weeding the garden or raking leaves.
4. Mowing the lawn.
5. Cleaning out the refrigerator.
6. Making and freezing enough meals to last a week.
7. Washing windows.
8. Re-painting areas on walls marked up by wheelchair traffic.
9. Giving the caree’s bedroom a deep cleaning.
10. Cleaning the car that the family caregiver and caree use.
11. Getting caught up on laundry.
12. Mopping floors.
13. Organizing closets.
14. Re-arranging furniture to best accommodate care needs.
15. Removing stains on furniture and in carpeting.

Thank you so much for giving during your weekend so another who gives every day has a chance to receive.

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