Because of the demands of being a family caregiver, some extra support and encouragement from other family members and friends is often appreciated. However, some of the things you say in casual conversation may be inappropriate, and sometimes, certain things are simply best left unsaid, which is what we’re going to focus on today. Below are several things to avoid saying to someone who is a family caregiver.
1. “You Really Look Tired”
Even if you say this out of concern, a family caregiver having a particularly demanding day is likely to be well aware of the fact that he or she looks tired. Even if the caregiver isn’t fully aware of how fatigued he or she looks, pointing such things out could make an exhausted family caregiver feel even worse. Instead, ask “How are you doing today?” if you want to convey you care and wish to listen.
Even better, offer to take some of the caregiving tasks off the caregiver’s shoulders or offer to help him or her find high-quality professional assistance. Caring for senior loved ones 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 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.
2. “Your Loved One Used to Be Such a Wonderful Person to Be Around”
Never refer to a family caregiver’s loved one in the past tense, since it can be hurtful. Even if the older adult you’re referring to is now limited in abilities or no longer as active, don’t provide a reminder of these facts. Instead, you might ask “How’s your loved one been doing lately?”
3. “If I Were You, What I Would Do Is…”
No matter how well it’s intended, busy family caregivers typically don’t want to hear unsolicited advice. Oftentimes, someone acting as a family caregiver has carefully thought out how to provide care in a way that’s best for his or her loved one. There may be factors or circumstances you’re simply not aware of that make your suggestion impractical or inappropriate. If you do want to be helpful, hold your advice unless asked, and offer to lend a hand if you can.
If you’d like to offer truly helpful advice, suggest hiring a professional caregiver. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated senior home care, Toronto, ON, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.
4. “You Should Just Put Your Loved One in a Home”
While there’s nothing wrong with placing a loved one in a high-quality nursing home, most older adults today prefer to age in place. If a family caregiver is making an effort to provide the type of care his or her loved one needs at home, assume he or she is likely trying to carry out the senior’s wishes. Besides, there are many safe and practical ways to provide care at home today, including making appropriate home modifications and taking advantage of senior home care services.
5. “You Shouldn’t Worry So Much”
Unless you’ve actually been a family caregiver yourself and handled things such as managing medications, providing assistance with daily tasks, and taking care of an aging adult’s physical and mental health needs, you can’t fully understand what this role is really like. Also, realize it’s only natural for a family caregiver to worry about an older loved one. That being said, if you notice your friend is excessively worried or concerned, offer to grab a cup of coffee or have lunch together so you can lend an ear and offer moral support.
The best thing you can do for a family caregiver is offer your unconditional support and appreciation for all he or she does. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Toronto, ON, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for an aging adult to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (416) 488-8777 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.