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5 Simple Ways You Can Support a Family Caregiver

We’ve had some heart-to-heart chats with incredible family caregivers over the past few months – those unsung heroes navigating the unpredictable waters of caring for their loved ones.💖

They’ve been dropping grandma off at Adult Day Centers, clearing out fridges at Assisted Living, and virtually dropping in on medical visits from miles away. 

So, what did they reveal? 

Here are 5 golden nuggets on how you can truly support the family caregivers in your life.

1. Call or Text: Caregivers are juggling a million things, but they also crave connection. A simple call or text can mean the world. Let them know you’re there for the emotional rollercoaster of caregiving. 

2. Don’t Try to Fix It, Listen Instead: They know you can’t magically erase illness or pain. What they truly desire is your undivided attention. Be that listening ear, that comforting presence. Sometimes, they just need to share their feelings without seeking solutions.

And don’t worry, when they want advice, they’ll ask for it. So don’t go into “fix it mode” – listen instead. 

3. Come on over! When life gets tough, some friends and family tend to step back. Break that pattern! Call ahead, drop by, and be present. Even better, offer to sit with their loved one for a while, allowing the caregiver to go for a walk, eat in peace, or take a nap. 

 

4. Drop off (healthy) food. Family caregivers are so consumed with taking care of mom, dad, their loved one, that they often don’t have time to prep meals for themselves. So if you’re making a green goddess salad for dinner or a stir fry- make an extra big batch and drop it off. A homemade meal can be a game-changer. 🥗

5. Offer to Watch the Kiddos: Many caregivers are not only caring for elderly parents but also wrangling little ones. Organizing a playdate or offering to babysit can be a lifeline.  One caregiver loved the fact that parents from school organized a playdate every Sunday, that way her daughter got a chance to play, and she got a much-needed break. 

Now I’d love to hear from you!

  1. Which of these strategies will you use to help out the caregiver in your life? 
  2. if you’re a caregiver what other ways could your friends and family be there for you?

Drop your thoughts in the comments below. Let’s create a ripple of caregiving support! 💬💙

 👉 If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, sign up for our weekly newsletter, to get first dibs on tips, strategies, and support.  Sign up here!

 

Here for you 💖

Ashwini Bapat, MD

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Ashwini Bapat, MD is a board-certified Palliative Care and Hospice Physician, coach, and co-founder of EpioneMD. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency and Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship at Yale University, before working at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She’s devoted to empowering caregivers so that they’re seen, heard, and supported.

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