William Shakespeare wrote: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Most family Caregivers I know fall into that last category.
This is a good time to celebrate the contribution of those volunteer friends and family members who care for loved-ones – not by a pat on the back, but in some concrete ways. Family Caregivers are certainty heroes, but not ‘Superhero’s (meaning they can go on endlessly and never tire).
Usually, Caregivers are not complainers and are often reluctant to ask for help. Because of that, I thought I would offer a few suggestions that will provide concrete help for those who are either a Caregiver or a friend of one.
- Friend: provide a meal for someone who is caregiving. Caregiver: Accept/request a specific meal.
- Friend: Offer to sit with a loved one. Caregiver: Accept the offer for someone else to sit with or visit your loved one.
- Friend: Offer to run errands.Caregiver: Accept the offer and make a list.
- Friend: Clean/do laundry (even taking larger bedding to a laundromat. Caregiver: Accept the offer – you can’t do it all.
- Friend: Ask your friend specifically what you can do to help. Caregiver: Accept the help, answer honestly.
Additionally, ‘Alzheimers.net’ offers some very specific ways to help the unsung heroes in our world. Click on the following link for ideas: 7 Ways to Celebrate Caregivers
Additional resources include:
- AARP Online Community
- Alzheimer’s Association
- ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center
- Boomer’s Roadmap to Aging in Place
- Caregiver Action Network
- Eldercare Locator
- Family Caregiver Alliance
- Financial Resources for Seniors
- Guide to Senior Nutrition
- Hospice Foundation of America
- Legal Planning for Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Making the Move to Assisted Living
- Moving Tips for Seniors
- National Clearinghouse for Long-term Care Information
- National Alliance for Caregiving
- National Institute on Aging Information Center
- Planning for the Future for Seniors with Special Needs
- Retail Savings Guide for Baby Boomers
- State Health Insurance Assistance Program
- Senior Health Resources
- Senior Guidance
- Social Security Administration
- Veterans Administration Caregiver
- Veterans Benefits for Seniors
- Well Spouse Association
Remember, you can’t do it all whether you are the caregiver or friend. Sometimes the best help may be a welcome visit that provides a temporary distraction.
Has your world been touched by dementia? My recent book, “Finishing Well: Finding Joy in the Journey”, is a collection of stories and tips about doing life with my Mama. May it encourage and inspire you to find the joy in your own, unique journey.
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