Caregivers are known to be nurturers by nature and are always offering up themselves by doing things for others. This becomes especially true during the holiday season. It tends to be an even busier time of the year when they may try to make the holiday resemble times they enjoyed in past years. However, this may become an even more challenging feat when a sick family member resides in the home and needs extra special care and attention. During Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, if you know a caregiver, offer some assistance as a gesture of thanks. Just know that at this time of the year, it can be a little bit overwhelming especially when they may be doing a lot of cooking and shopping which gives the caregiver some extra stuff to do. Perhaps what you can do for a family member or friend is take some of the tasks off their hands. They may be short on help at this time.
- Simply giving the caregiver a phone call to check in on them to see how they’re doing can make a world of difference. This is often a nice gesture. Often people will call to inquire about how the person who they are caring for is doing, but neglect to inquire about how the caregiver is doing.
- Ask them if they need any help or assistance. Perhaps you can offer to go to the store for them so that takes some things off their to-do list. If the caregiver doesn’t have an in-home aide or someone to stay at the home with the patient, offer to spend a couple of hours with the patient so they can go out and run their errands.
- If they do have someone to stay with their loved one, offer to go to lunch with them or go out to dinner. Oftentimes caregivers don’t do anything for themselves. Maybe a dear friend is in need of some respite, perhaps treat her to a massage so she can get some much needed pampering and time away. Caregivers often miss the socialization of meeting with their regular friends and family outside of their regular caregiving duties.
- Offer to do something around the house for them. Something as simple as shoveling snow on a walkway, raking leaves, mowing the lawn or maybe a simple fix it job at their home that you may have heard them say needs to be done. No matter what the season, just offering a simple helping gesture can make a world of difference in a caregiver’s life.
You may find that the caregiver is a bit hesitant to receiving help. They just don’t want to appear needy. It’s often difficult for them to be on the receiving end of a kind gesture. Don’t let that deter you from offering to help them. Keep trying. Don’t underestimate the power of an uplifting and encouraging word, or a kind gesture that shows that someone cares about them. As a caregiver myself, I really appreciated the small things that people did to extend kindness to me especially, at a time as an only child caregiver, when I felt alone. You will make a difference in someone’s life if you take a step and offer to help. It will be welcomed. What are some ways that you can help a caregiver during the holidays?