Wednesday, August 06, 2008

what can friends do to help someone who is a caregiver (Pt 3)

Part 3

#5 Help the caregiver get away from their everyday responsibilities. Provide opportunities for play. 

I would reverse this; help the caregiver “with” everyday responsibilities. Companionship for errands or outings is invaluable.

Having an extra set of hands along revolutionizes outings. Unable to leave Patti unattended, I can never drop her off at the entrance to anywhere and park.

In the early years there were no ‘family restrooms. My presence in a women’s room either to accompany our young daughter or to assist Patti seemed to unnerve other women. Come on now ladies, unlike a men’s room all the stalls have doors.

Ventures into women’s clothing departments both as a spouse caregiver and a single parent of a daughter were travel to another galaxy. Men’s clothing is a function of width and length, a female translator would have been soooo welcomed.

More often than not caregiving is opposite sex. In our story not only was caregiving opposite sex but so was basically single parenting. My first attempt at buying feminine care products could have been a candid camera skit. <grin>

I simply approached women shopping in the feminine care aisle, “Excuse me, do your prefer a tampon or a pad?”  or “Why does one want ‘wings’ on these pads?” and so on. Shoppers stared at me dumfounded as if I was an alien and hurried from the immediate vicinity. <grin>  …

#6 Help keep humor in the lives of the caregiver and receiver.

Yes, humor above all! However even just sharing your life is appreciated. We live vicariously through others. <grin>

Fortunately humor often finds me. Not so long ago, I was in a check out line holding a package of feminine care pads ‘with wings’ when an unusually heavy gentleman notices my package and conversationally though loudly remarks, “Hemorrhoids? Huh? ‘Wings’ are the only way to go! That’s what I use.”

Even though the image is forever scared in my mind, you can rest assured that conversation kept humor in our lives for weeks. <grin>

(Oops! Approaching that 350 word cap on entries … to be continued … only one to go!)

Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer


  1. oh my gosh, Patrick; you had me laughing on this, but also thinking about this; I didn't realize how a simple thing like coming along on an outing or being available the help shop or shop for someone would be so vital to the caregiver. This is something that almost anyone can do too without a lot of fuss and without a lot of time or money expenditure. thanks for posting this; it certainly does give me something to think about; but I got to get that man's statement out of my mind; it is going to haunt me for the rest of today I'm sure

    looking forward to #7 in 350 words or less :)


  2.  Again, great points and very funny.  Your sense of humor is what keeps it real.


  3. OMG! You are SO right about all that!

    The guy with the hemorrhoids??  Bless his heart.... <shaking head>


  4. I wish I'd had this list 20 years ago.  You're making very good suggestions(better than OSU's).  I'm looking forward to #7.
                                                                                               :)  Leigh

    I had to take my husband into the ladies room a few times, too funny!

  5. ((((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))))))))))))Very gd list.

  6. .. I just met a new resident of this little spot in the road... she has spent her life working as a caregiver in various careers.  She offered to ride with me to go see my mother......said she would gabber or listen........sometimes we just need someone to listen who has some idea of which we speak!


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