Supporting Family Caregivers
As we get older, we realize how real the conversation with family is about caring for a loved one, especially if that loved one is yourself. For many, that conversation ends with someone in the family taking on the role of caregiver. At CareLink, we know the trials and successes that come with caregiving, which is why we are sharing ways to show support and say “Thank you” to the caregivers in your life in recognition of National Family Caregivers Month.
We understand that sometimes, a family member becomes the caregiver because they are the only one who lives near an older loved one or the only one with a work schedule that allows, so some of our suggestions may not be feasible or possible because of distance. However, taking time to reach out to the caregiver in your family is one way to show how appreciative you are of their work. These are just a few ways to allow them time to focus on their own mental and physical health.
We’ll also share information about the resources CareLink provides for family caregivers.
Give Them a Break or Help Around the House
Holiday season is upon us, which means many family members will travel near and far to spend quality time together. If you are one of those travelers, consider taking on the role of caregiver while in town so your loved one can take the time to care for themselves.
If you don’t live close by or have the time to let your family caregiver off for a day, there are other ways to help with their load. When our caregivers go home, they have their own chores to do and meals to cook. Finding ways to help around the house is one way to show you appreciate their dedication to the family. You can help with their lawn, either cut it for them or come together with other family members to hire a lawn service every now and then or help with the costs of a housekeeper to help around the house.
Other ways to help when schedules allow is watching the caregiver in your family’s children and pets for a few hours to allow them a chance to rest, clean or run errands. Not only do you give them some time to themselves to regroup, you get the opportunity to connect and make memories with other family members you might not see often.
In a time when messages are sent via text or Facebook Messenger, a handwritten note shows a loved one you took the time to sit down and write out the ways you appreciate them, especially for our older loved ones who have their own memories of sending letters to friends and family. In your note, write from the heart. Try to include uplifting quotes or messages, a time they made you smile, what you love about them, or ways you appreciate them.
Make a Meal
Food is an international love language, and there’s no better way to show someone you care than to lovingly create homemade meals, especially if you know how to create a favorite dish. Offer to create a few meals they can easily reheat in the oven or on the stove. If you don’t live close by, there are many inexpensive food delivery services gaining popularity that are easy to prepare.
Tokens of appreciation can go a long way in showing appreciation for the caregiver in your family, especially if distance and work make it hard to help around the house or with children. Should your family caregiver accept gifts, there are many ways to show a loved one you care. From flowers to sweets to personalized trinkets, small gifts can be a ray of light to a caregiver in need of a pick-me-up. If you are interested in another route, consider gift certificates to places that allow them to relax or enjoy some time away to focus on themselves:
- Massage Therapy
- Movie Theater
Are you or a loved one seeking resources for caregivers in Central Arkansas? CareLink offers a variety of resources for family caregivers to ease the stresses caregivers face and make duties more manageable, including:
- One-on-one assistance for family members through caregiver counseling
- Emergency response systems (for peace of mind)
- Legal consultations and legal services
- Meals on Wheels food delivery services
- Senior Companions for homebound elderly
- In-Home respite care to relieve family caregivers from their duties when they need a break
Visit our website to learn more about Family Caregiver resources.