This is an inspirational and educational post – yea! The idea is that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US can help to improve dementia care. You don’t have to be providing direct care to make a difference in someone’s life. In fact, it could be as simple as smiling and holding a door for someone else.
If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.
~His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama
Family members to provide personal care to someone with dementia are more likely to have higher levels of stress, higher rates of depression, and more health complications than people who care for other conditions and than non-carers. They are absorbing a lot of care responsibilities as dementia progresses and sacrificing their own privacy, personal time, relaxation, social activities, and often self-care activities. They are selflessly giving themselves to benefit someone else. And if that doesn’t bring some humanity warmth into your heart, then you need to watch some videos on kittens or something and then come back and read this post.
I have a ton of respect for family care partners. They are amazing, special people.
And I kinda want everyone else to realize this as well.
If you know someone who is a carer, you can lend a helping hand! And by doing even small things to make their day brighter, easier, and less stressful, you are not only helping them out but also helping to make them better able to provide care for someone else.
They may be hesitant at first, but if you really mean it, keep offering and give specific ideas of what you can do for them. Here are 20 ideas of how you can make a difference. ANYTHING will be a help. If you try any of these out, I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
Happy helping 🙂
- Have a short coffee or tea break and hang out for 30 minutes of easy chatting
- Help them with laundry – offer to pick it up and bring it back all clean the next day, or spend time with them and help them sort and fold laundry in their own home
- Offer to wash the dishes
- Offer to bring over dinner “I doubled my recipe and have enough for 2 families, can I bring over some?”
- Clean out or wash their car
- Let them know that they can call on you for support
- Mow their lawn or rake their leaves “I’m doing yardwork this weekend, can I come over and do yours while I’m at it?”
- Shovel snow off their sidewalks
- Offer to clean their gutters in the Spring
- Put their garbage bins back after collection day
- Bring them their mail
- Hold a door for them
- Ask them how they are – but be sure to LISTEN to them as well
- Let them know you are going to the grocery store or pharmacy and ask if you can pick anything up for them
- Offer to sit in for them for a few hours one day so they can run errands, exercise, or have alone time
- Give them a gift certificate for a massage, pedicure, whatever they might enjoy, and offer to sit in for them during that time
- Send a card
- Make a phone call
- Send an email or text message
- Offer to pick up their kids from school or activities, or to take their kids for a slumber party night