Being a part-time or full-time caregiver isn’t easy under normal circumstances, but caregiving during a pandemic can be especially stressful. In addition to the everyday tasks of the role, caregivers must cope with pandemic-related anxiety and shifting health regulations and safety guidelines. At Krause Funeral Home, we understand how difficult this time is for those who are caring for a loved one. We encourage our neighbors in Milwaukee, Brookfield, and New Berlin to seek help from family and friends when they can.
If you’re the friend or family member of a caregiver, here are some helpful suggestions on how to support them as they navigate the pandemic:
These days, people talk a lot about self-care for good reason. Compassion fatigue and burnout are both common occurrences in the lives of caregivers. It’s easy for them to take on too much emotional stress and too many hands-on tasks. Try to remind the caregiver in your life to take time for themselves to refuel and recenter. This can be a simple text or a phone call. Perhaps you send them a gift certificate for a massage, or a gift basket filled with comforting items like candles and soothing soap.
Ask them how you can help.
Oftentimes, caregivers are at a loss for words when their friends and family ask them how they can help. Encourage the caregivers you know to make a list of areas in which they’d appreciate an extra hand. These tasks don’t have to be elaborate. Maybe it’s something simple like helping with laundry or loading the dishwasher.
Do something helpful without asking.
Because many caregivers find it difficult to ask for help (or even know what sort of help they need), they often appreciate it when friends or family do something for them without asking. Stop by their house with a freshly cooked meal or a pre-cooked casserole to pop into their freezer. If you’re able, take over their caregiving duties for an afternoon so they can catch up on personal tasks and appointments.
Share a coffee with them.
Not everyone has the time or the means to pursue professional mental health counseling. It’s easy for caregivers to ignore their own needs and to avoid even mentioning them. Take your caregiver out for a coffee and listen to their stories and grievances. Ask them what’s on their mind and really listen to how they respond. They might simply want to get something off their chest and feel supported by someone who cares about them.
If you or a caregiver in your life is experiencing pandemic-related burnout or stress and