Caring For Carers: How You Can Help
Being a carer is both emotionally and physically hard. When you have another person to look after around the clock, it can be difficult to find time to care for yourself - and the network you have will have a lot to say for how much help you’re able to get.
Besides from a few governmental schemes, there isn’t really that much help available to carers; by reaching out to your friend or family member who is a carer, you can certainly make it easier for them.
Here are a couple of ways you can help them and be the kind of support they need while they’re trying to support somebody else. At the end of the day, you’re helping more than one as the one they care for also benefits from a well-rested and happy carer.
First: Let them know you’re there to help
Sure, it’s difficult for you to be there the same way as your friend or family member is as they’re maybe living with the one they’re caring for. Yet, you can easily provide them with your support by letting them know that you’re available at all times.
Make it clear that it doesn’t matter if they need your help in the middle of the night or the middle of the day - just the knowledge of not being alone might make it easier for them to cope as a carer.
Remember to be there as an emotional support as well; come over for tea, ask about the one they are caring for, and help them with cooking dinner once in a while as well. It can be mentally tough to care for a loved one, and especially if their health is getting weaker. Having somebody to talk to about this can make an immense difference.
Talk about getting more help
When your friend took on the role of a carer, the health of their loved one might have been better than it is now. After a couple of years, however, it can be tough to admit that they need more help and that they’re no longer coping as well as they did - and, as a friend, you could try to nudge them in the direction of getting more help.
Try to look at a reliable senior care provider, first of all, and mention the name of the care center to your friend. It’s not a good idea to arrange this without their consent, though, as they might shut it out completely.
Keep in mind that they’re able to provide help in-house as well so that their loved one won’t have to move out of their home.
It’s important to have time to take care of yourself as well so you should try to encourage fun activities as well - and just be a good friend.
With so much going on in their lives and so much responsibility, having a friend that’s there to make them feel better and look after them might be exactly what they need.