The Elizabeth Hospice
You probably know a family member, friend or co-worker who is caring for a loved one. And you’ve most likely witnessed that this role, though rewarding, can also at times be difficult for them. As someone who cares about them you may want to reach out and try and help. Communicating with caregivers about their lives can be challenging task to undertake. It requires a unique understanding and patience. Throughout our decades of service and support for caregivers we have come across many insights that may help you as you consider speaking with a caregiver about their lives.
- Caregivers may neglect themselves in order to devote more time to their loved ones. In general, many caregivers see themselves as the main subject in their loved one’s lives, sometimes not noticing that they need to support themselves in order to support their loved one. It is essential for caregivers to care for themselves as well as their loved ones, and finding the right balance can lead to better care and less caregiver burnout.
- Caregivers may be resistant to share duties with family members. Some feel that no one can care for their loved one as well as they do, and feel blameworthy leaving their loved one with anyone else. Others may feel they have no one to ask for help, or are waiting for people to volunteer.
- The average caregiver may be uncomfortable with outside services, especially when considering respite care.
- Many caregivers are reluctant to talk about how caregiving affects their own health, both mentally and physically. They admit to feeling tired and stressed, but few talk of other effects. Only a few have talked to a doctor about their caregiving.
- Many caregivers, are looking to continuously improve their loved one’s quality of life. This may be the best way to approach a conversation with a caregiver in your life. In this way you can positively talk about ways to help improve the caregiver’s life, focusing on the idea that getting the help and support they need will make them a better caregiver.
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