Family caregivers do better when they’re surrounded by friends who want to hear about their days. Opportunities for socializing may be brief, but the family caregiver in your life appreciates those little chats that perk him or her up. While some of what people say is intended to be nice, there are times when a simple comment can bring a caregiver’s mood down. Try to watch out for these common sayings that could do more harm than good.
“You Look Exhausted”
Family caregivers often spend long hours trying to get everything done. They may be up and down during the night helping their senior loved ones, and they often skip things such as putting on makeup or getting their hair styled. Although you may feel like what you’re saying is well-meant, the truth is caregivers know they look and feel tired. Instead, try rephrasing this statement into a question. Asking how you can help is more productive than saying something that might be taken as an insult.
You can support a family caregiver by offering to help him or her find high-quality professional assistance. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
“Let’s Talk about Something Else”
It may sometimes seem as though your friend constantly talks about his or her caregiving duties. At times, you may even find it depressing to keep hearing about his or her loved one’s health problems or the challenges that come with aging. Try to remember this is your friend’s current life. Allowing the caregiver to vent may relieve his or her stress. If it seems as though your friend is facing serious challenges with the role, it’s also okay to gently suggest the idea of talking to a professional counselor or joining a support group. Just make sure the caregiver knows he or she can still talk to you about the challenges he or she faces.
“You Never Accept My Invitations to Events”
Having your invitations turned down feels personal. However, you can bet your friend would much rather be out socializing than doing yet another load of laundry or assisting his or her loved one with getting ready for bed. Try to remember that your friend does want to spend time with you, but making this statement just adds to the feelings of guilt.
The best thing you can do for a family caregiver is offer your unconditional support and appreciation for all he or she does. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Austin, TX, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
“Your Loved One Doesn’t Really Know What’s Going On”
This is perhaps one of the most hurtful things you can say to caregivers because it diminishes all the hard work they do. People sometimes say this out of the desire to help someone feel better about his or her loved one’s dementia, but it does hurt. It’s also untrue. Seniors in the later stages of dementia often know what’s happening around them. Instead, try telling your caregiver friend his or her loved one benefits from such compassionate care, and let your friend know his or her parent feels loved even though he or she cannot always communicate.
“You Should Do Things This Way”
There’s no right or wrong answer in many caregiving situations. Each senior, home, and health condition is different. You might feel like it would just be easier for your friend to put his or her loved one in a group home, but your friend has chosen to help the senior age in place for a reason. Let your friend continue caregiving as he or she sees fit, even if you sometimes disagree. Your friend will appreciate your support.
If you’d like to offer truly helpful advice, suggest hiring a professional caregiver. In Austin, in-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (512) 623-7800.