Many people have a friend who is caring for a senior parent, which can put strains on their friendship. It may be difficult to understand what your friend is going through, but it should be easy for you to remain compassionate and loving. Here are some things you should do if you are friends with someone who is a family caregiver.
1. Keep Your Problems to Yourself
Although you may have spoken to your friend about your problems in the past, try to avoid bringing these emotional issues into his or her life. Your friend will need your outings and conversations to be positive and reassuring. Find someone else you can speak with about negative issues instead of upsetting your friend who is now a family caregiver.
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2. Take Your Friend to Social Gatherings
If your friend says he or she doesn’t have time to go to dinner or a gathering with coworkers, try to convince him or her to go anyway. Do not let your friend become socially isolated, which is common for family caregivers. Planning gatherings and social activities around your friend’s schedule may make it easier for him or her to attend.
3. Help Out
You don’t have to help with bathing and grooming or household chores, but you can run a few errands for your friend’s parent. If you are out and about, ask your friend if you can pick up his or her parent’s prescription. You can do a little grocery shopping for your friend, pick his or her children up from school, or help with meal prep. Although these tasks are simple, they could help your friend out tremendously.
4. Talk About Caregiving
Many friends of family caregivers often avoid conversations about the caregiving role. They fear talking about it will depress their friends or make them think about their loved one’s decreasing health. However, speaking about caregiving and offering your friend a shoulder to lean on could be just what he or she needs to lower stress levels.
Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Dayton families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
5. Don’t Take Things Personal
When your friend stops calling you as much as he or she used to, be understanding. This doesn’t mean your friend values your friendship any less. It simply means he or she doesn’t have a lot of free time. You should continue being a positive person in your friend’s life and remember that he or she is sacrificing a lot of personal time to be a family caregiver.
6. Send Your Friend Gifts
Many family caregivers don’t receive the thanks they deserve from their siblings or their senior loved one. To prevent your friend from feeling undervalued, send flowers, gifts, or notes, praising his or her hard work and commitment. Giving a thoughtful gift could boost your friend’s mood and make him or her feel appreciated.
7. Be Supportive
When your friend calls to speak about an issue, listen. Wait until he or she has finished and offer support and advice. Avoid lecturing your friend, even if he or she is in the wrong. Instead, offer suggestions that help him or her see things with a clearer mind.
Suggesting a trusted home caregiver is one of the best ways to help your friend take a break from his or her caregiving duties. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated home care, Dayton, OH, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call us at (937) 353-1412 today.