Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What to say to a caregiver!

 Too many friends and family offer platitudes, and it can hurt.

I loathe the negative. This post offers the 10 Top Things Not To Say to a caregiver. It's a fair point, but it's important to know WHAT to say. People scrounge their brains for comforting words, and may have little or no idea what people go through as a caregiver. Even if they have been a caregiver, their situation differs.

I recall my older , wealthier, snobby cousin (who treated me as a child), phoning 3 days after my mother's death. She told me I should clean my mother's bathroom, as it was dirty. I was a basket case.

My mother had just died, dad was getting radiation treatment, and had dementia AND delirium. I'd moved, and given up a great job to care for both of them.

As someone who does respite and hospice work, I often go into people's homes. These are the things that I see need to be done.

This is what you can do or say:

  1. You are doing an amazing job. Good work.
  2. I can tell that you truly love ______[care recipient].
  3. I love you.
  4. I know you are working hard.
  5. You have a lot of courage.
  6. I am proud of your efforts.
  7. What can I do to help? (This can be ridiculous, as many don't want to ask, or don't know what to ask for.)
  8. Is there a day of the week I could bring you a meal?
  9. Could I come over and do your laundry, dishes, prepare a meal, help you pay your bills?
  10. Is there a time when you could use some respite? 
  11. I can sit with your care recipient for [3 hours ]any afternoon.
  12. Do you need some groceries? 
  13. Make I take you to _______.
  14. Do you want need a drive to an appointment?

No comments: