Tuesday: Kiss a Caregiver Day

Denise

Tuesday: Kiss a Caregiver Day

Denise
SealedwithaKissDo you know a family caregiver?

Chances are you do. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, almost 66 million Americans provide care to an elderly, disabled or chronically ill friend or family member.

Tuesday, November 26, is your day to show your appreciation for the family caregiver in your life. And, it’s easy–all you have to do is give him or her a kiss!

But November 26 is just the start.

Family caregivers do so much; they provide ongoing support, love and medical care to a family member in need. Their job is difficult, overwhelming and exhausting. They may often feel depleted–of physical energy and emotional strength.

And, that’s where you come in! You can help a family caregiver feel revitalized and renewed. We’ve put together a few ideas to help you get started:

1. Call the caregiver on a regular basis to find out how he or she is doing.
Listen with an open heart–and a non-judgmental ear. You don’t have to solve the problems–just listening is the best help you can offer.

2. Volunteer to stay with the caree one evening or afternoon a week, every other week, or every month–whatever you can offer. Encourage the caregiver to enjoy the break–and not worry about you or the caree.

3. Send a note expressing your love and admiration for the family caregiver.


4. Encourage the family caregiver to keep up their own interests and hobbies–and help them find the time needed to do so.
Often, family caregivers feel that they’ve lost themselves, that their own personalities somehow got “fuzzy” or out-of-focus. Ensuring a family caregiver has the time and support to pursue their own interests fights off the “fuzzies.”

5. Lessen the caregiver’s load by running errands when you can. Offer to pick up groceries, medications, whatever the caregiver needs.

6. Call the caregiver and say, “Don’t worry about dinner. I’ll bring it over at 5:30.” It doesn’t have to be fancy. It just has to be from you.

7. Be a library runner. Ask the caregiver what books/videos he or she would like from the library. A good book or great movie can be a refreshing break for a caregiver.

8. Offer to make phone calls on behalf of the family caregiver to learn about community services that can help.

9. Stop for a visit–with the family caregiver and the caree.

10. Share a hug! Caregivers give so much of themselves–they need regular “hug replacements.”

Thank you for your support–you have the opportunity to make a tremendous difference in the life of a family caregiver.

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