If you’re a relative of a loved one who is acting as a family caregiver, it’s important to know how you can support them. This can make a huge difference to the quality of care they deliver. Here are some tips from Hugues Joublin on how to be a helpful and supportive presence.
Hugues Joublin’s Advice on How to Support Family Caregivers
Keep the Physician Informed
Be sure to keep the physician updated on any changes in your loved one’s condition, such as sleep quality, increased pain or new symptoms. It can be difficult for physicians to keep track of everything, so it’s important that you act as a second set of eyes and ears.
Make Sure They’re Eating and Drinking
Part of being a caregiver is making sure that your loved one is eating and drinking enough. A lot of times, family caregivers are so focused on their work that they forget themselves to eat or drink. As a result, they can become dehydrated or malnourished.
Make Sure They’re Resting
Just like with eating and drinking, it’s important to make sure that family caregivers are getting enough rest. Fatigue can lead to errors, to bad mood, so it’s crucial that your relative who is acting as a caregiver is well-rested.
Encourage Them to Take Breaks
In addition to making sure family caregivers are getting enough rest, it’s also important to encourage them to take breaks. It can be easy for them to get wrapped up in their work and forget to take a break, but it’s important for their health and well-being.
Encourage Good Self-Care
Family caregivers are used to putting their own needs last, but it’s important to encourage them to take care of themselves, both physically and emotionally. Help them to schedule regular checkups and time off, and offer to pitch in when you can.
Be Their Advocate
Act as an advocate for your loved one, both with the medical staff and with insurance companies. Be sure to ask questions and get clarification when needed.
Provide Emotional Support
Due to the nature of their caring activities, family caregivers can be exposed to a lot of trauma and stress. Be there for them as a sounding board and shoulder to cry on, when needed.
Make Time for Fun
With such a demanding job, it’s important to make time for fun and relaxation. Date nights or weekend getaways may be difficult for them, but encourage your loved ones to take some time off for themselves, even if it’s just an hour or two.
Last but not least, be sure to thank your relative acting as a family caregiver for all they do. A simple “thank you” can go a long way in showing your appreciation.
In conclusion, anyone can be a great support to family caregivers by freeing up their time and providing emotional support. By following the aforementioned tips from Hugues Joublin, you can help your loved ones receive the best possible care, while also making the caregivers’ job easier. What have been your experiences supporting a family caregiver? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.