Sunday, August 03, 2008

what can friends do to help someone who is a caregiver (Pt 2)

Part 2: what can friends do to help someone who is a caregiver

Time gets so out of sync when caregiving that it may as well be a parallel universe. This challenges communication.

Concerns about disrupting caregiving or a ringing phone waking a napping person with MS or even a caregiver who is catching a quick power nap create a communication maze to get through.

By the time I finished juggling each day's caregiving needs for Patti and basically single parenting our daughter it was late. West Coast friends were my only possible ‘conversations’.

Don’t rule out email. It enables communication when convenient.

The thing is if you are genuinely committed to being a friend and helping, it will not be easy but it will be appreciated. Stay with it.

#3 Get to know them better. Share their feelings. Be genuine.

This was penned by a visionary. Over time caregivers too often become shadows of the person in need.

Remember unlike the person being cared for your friend ‘chooses’ to be a caregiver. Believe me they have a vault of feelings to share.

Getting to know your friend better, I would venture to say that you may also get to know yourself better.

#4 Give the caregiver opportunities for leisure time. Stay and watch the care recipient while others go to dinner or a movie.

In principal a great idea, however the reality of the level of disability or care required could determine this option.

We were blessed that Patti’s parents could host Patti when they were younger and Patti was less disabled. This support enabled our daughter and I to spend ‘able bodied’ time together, hiking in the mountains, boogie boarding at the beach … parts of childhood and parenting that we would not have been able to experience.

“Dinner or a movie” reads kind of frivolous but empowering ‘moments in time’ can be priceless.

(Oops! I’ve hit my 350 word cap on entries … to be continued)

Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer


  1. ((((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))))))))))))I know its got to be hard being a caregiver,but I knoe you would do it in a heart beat.

  2. again wise words; I think so many times people want to do something but they are unsure of what to do so instead of asking point-blank, they do nothing and hope someone else will know what to do and then do it. sometimes the simplest things make the biggest difference too; just acknowledging that the caregiver is a person too helps the caregiver to push on in their caregiving efforts

    take care of that back of yours, I know that it comes with the terriority of being a caregiver with transfers, but if you become incapacitated, who will take care of the caregiver?? I know that's a dilemma too. geesh, nothing is easy is it?

    churches need to start addressing some issues about caregivers; they make up a good percentage of the population; doubt there are lots of outreach programs designed for them; something for me to ponder

    I took a peek over at your other blog, your personal one, I do admire you with your persistence in finding your plastic statue :) (gas here is coming down too; California always has to be bigger and better than the rest of the country, we have to have "killer" quakes and we have to keep our gas over $4.00 a gallon, but it is creeping closer to $4.00 and away from $4.70 - average is about $4.12 here now - so that is good news, especially with a teen son who drives a 1993 Cadillac de Seville; what was he thinking??)



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