The Heart of a Caregiver
In my line of work as a Senior Care Advisor in Appleton, I am regularly inspired by the selfless people I meet who are caregiving for their senior/adult loved ones. They may not even recognize that they are caregivers, often using works like “just helping out” or “it’s my Mom”. However, the responsibilities of family caregivers are great, albeit often emotionally rewarding.
Every day, family caregivers all over Wisconsin are giving from their hearts. They are sacrificing personal time and personal commitments to be there for those who need them most.
Regardless of whether you are a neighbor, a friend or family member of the caregiver, or the person who receives support from the caregiver, please take a moment to show your appreciation for all that they do.
Just recognizing them as a caregiver and acknowledging their efforts is valuable. Like so many caregivers, they simply provide the care without recognizing their sacrifice.
A word of Thanks - Say it, write it, text it if you must. Something as simple as a thank you reminds the caregiver that their sacrifice has not gone unnoticed.
A small gift of appreciation – Send them a box of candy, or buy them a meal. A little treat or a meal that someone else makes can be just the thing a caregiver needs to keep up their energy and focus.
Somone to talk with – The Fox Valley area has many support groups for Family Caregivers. These facilitator-led groups generally are comprised of caregivers who discuss and support each other by sharing challenges AND solutions. Learning from someone that has already faced similar situations can be inspiring. If you need help locating an appropriate support group, reach out to our office.
Step in for a day or a week - In order for a family caregiver to be successful, they need periodic days off or vacations just like we all do from our work lives. Offer to fill in so they can take a day off to get some personal errands run. Or, they may need to get away for a relaxing weekend or a vacation. Help them find support for those breaks, even if you personally cannot provide that care directly. Reach out to your local Northeast Wisconsin CarePatrol Advisor who can connect you with additional resources and ideas for respite breaks for the caregivers.
Look around you to find the people who are supporting others in so many ways. Recognize them for their hard work, personal dedication, and heart of a caregiver…especially if that person is you.
Certified Senior Advisor
CarePatrol Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Green Bay