Watching someone we care about experience a challenging situation, such as caregiving, can leave us feeling anxious and powerless. Even though you don’t have all of the answers, or the ability to change the situation, there are a few things you can do to help.
- Listen – provide caregivers with a non-judgmental ear
- Offer assistance with specific tasks – It is our inclination to say “let me know what I can do to help.” But offering to help with specific things may increase the likeliness that the caregiver will accept help. Perhaps you can:
- Sit with their loved one for a couple of hours so that the caregiver can have a break
- Cook a meal
- Mow the lawn
- Run errands
- Help with research on support programs, diagnosis specific information, etc.
- Acknowledgement – something as simple as acknowledging the challenges that the caregiver faces can boost their spirits. Ask the caregiver how they are doing. They may be asked often how their loved one is doing, but many caregivers feel invisible. Let them know that they are seen.
- Be an Advocate for caregivers