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5 Tips for Helping an Isolated Caregiver Friend

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Taking care of a senior loved one often means spending the majority of waking hours with no companionship outside of the person in your care. The nature of the duty creates a sense of isolation and possibly loneliness. Individuals who have caregivers as friends can alleviate the self-imposed isolation in several ways.

1. Lend an Ear

Sometimes caregivers merely appreciate having someone to talk to. If your friend is caring for a loved one with dementia, having the chance to converse with someone who is not cognitively impaired may feel rewarding. An isolated individual may like to hear what is going on in the rest of the world or may need someone willing to listen in an attempt to alleviate frustrations or stress. Your friend might also appreciate having someone provide an opinion concerning various topics. Consider giving your friend a call. 

Caring for a loved one can be overwhelming. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Omaha home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

2. Offer to Help with Errands & Chores

Friends of caregivers can offer to run errands for the family. Perhaps pitch in and clean the house or lend your assistance in accomplishing other household chores. Maybe offer to spend time with the senior so your friend has a few hours of free time to do whatever he or she likes, or simply ask what you could do to be of the utmost help. While you are helping your caregiver friend, you can also engage him or her in conversation.

3. Prepare Special Meals

Make a meal or two and maybe a dessert. Choose main dishes that can easily be frozen and reheated if your friend desires. This way, he or she can enjoy a night free of having to cook while indulging in a home-cooked meal. A prepared meal might be especially helpful if your friend has to spend the day at medical appointments or has a hectic day for any other reason.

4. Plan Time Off

Arrange with other family members of the senior to substitute for an afternoon or a night. Perhaps you have a circle of friends who might volunteer for the task. Make sure to find one or more individuals your friend would trust with his or her loved one. Treat your friend to some time out. Maybe plan on going out for a meal and then take in a movie or go shopping. Knowing his or her parent is in good hands, your friend is more likely to relax, unwind, and enjoy the afternoon or evening.

Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you are caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Omaha families who want to avoid burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.

5. Visit Regularly

Contact your friend and find out if it might be convenient to pay him or her a visit. Your friend and the older adult more than likely will delight in the chance to socialize. Spend the time catching your friend up on current events. If his or her parent has dementia, the visit may also be an opportune time to encourage the senior to engage in conversation and reminisce.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Omaha Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call us at (402) 249-0204.

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