Lilacs & Greensleeves: Families, Friends & Neighbors
Were you ever a family member, a friend or a neighbor of someone being cared for? Have you wondered how you can be of support to not only that special person needing care but also to the one who is the giver of that care? There are so many ways that people can help. When I was caring for my parents, I had the support of all three…family, friends and neighbors. My family was there for us, not only in their prayers and phone calls but also in their presence. They helped me with the hands on care of Mom and Dad in between their own family needs and their own busy schedules. They worked within our home in areas that needed attention and at a time that couldn’t be a priority for me, as my focus was mainly on my parents. My family’s presence was incredibly valuable!
Our friends and neighbors kept in touch with phone calls, asking for updates and offering words of encouragement, all helping us to feel that continued connection with them. Neighbors would plow our driveways and sidewalk during every snowstorm. With only a simple phone call, I would give our local supermarket a list of needed groceries in which they would then deliver when it got to the point in my caregiving that I just couldn’t leave our home to shop. Most of my parents medications were ordered on our computer and then delivered by mail order and that was a very big help! Neighbors helping neighbors! I think one of the most important things that everyone can do when a caregiver is brought in, is for all of us to stay active in the life of the person needing care. I realize how busy lives can be yet we all want our loved one to feel that support and not to feel a loss of connection with family, friends and neighbors.
We know that there is great comfort for everyone when there is a caregiver spending time with their loved one. And it seems to be of great comfort to our loved ones to have everyone stay connected through this vulnerable time in their lives. We in turn, recognize that communication goes both ways and we try to encourage our clients to stay in touch with their families, friends and neighbors, too. So what can we all do to help when there’s a need in a loved one’s life and how can we all stay connected? With respect and permission…how about mowing lawns, trimming bushes and trees, shopping for food. Before you throw out your newspapers in the recycle bin, how about sharing it with your neighbor? Offer to drive both the caregiver and their client to an important appointment, especially if parking is at a premium. Find out their food ‘likes’ and if permitted diet wise, make a casserole or a special dessert. Snow plow their driveway and sidewalks when needed. Give them your phone number in case there is an need for assistance when the caregiver isn’t there. Send letters through snail mail or email. Remember birthdays and anniversaries. Are you going to Walmart, Target, Kmart?? How about calling and asking if you could pick up anything that they may need?
As close or as far apart as we all are, Care4You feels that we are connected as caregivers, families, friends and neighbors who truly desire to be there for your loved ones. So how about sharing below, some ideas of your own by clicking on ‘Leave a comment.’ You just might help someone out there…somewhere.