How To Help An Overly Stressed Caregiving Friend
In every circle of friends, there is typically one who serves as a caregiver to their parents or other elders in the family. They tend to the type who agrees to come when you set up a get-together but bails out at the last minute because they cannot find a temporary caregiver. It is not difficult to see dark circles under their eyes as well, especially if they have to handle a full-time job and look after an elderly 24/7.
Simply put, life is not easy for this friend of yours. Even if you do not hear them complain, they are undoubtedly stressed out due to their duties at work and home. In case you want to help them out sometimes, you can do the following:
Take Over Some Tasks
The first thing that you should do is to lend a hand to your friend. Because they take care of someone day and night, there may be chores that they cannot even think of facing. E.g., doing the laundry, folding clothes, vacuuming the house, etc. Hence, if you have enough time, you can volunteer to come over and help them knock such tasks off their list.
Ask About What Your Friend Needs
While you are at it, you ought to take this chance to find out if there is anything that your friend needs but cannot get because of their responsibilities. For instance, they may have run out of cereals or eggs so that you can go to the grocery store on their behalf. In case your friend has not had a full-body massage or mani or pedi ever since they became a caregiver, you should call a spa or salon to send a professional to their house. These are little sources of luxury that you should not hesitate to give to your exhausted friend whenever you can. “Let the person know that you need to talk and ask if they have time,” licensed clinical psychologist Aimee Daramus, PsyD,
Lend An Ear
Lastly, if you don’t have extra cash to pay for a temporary caregiver or at least time to help out, you can always be your stressed friend’s sounding board. After all, that person probably needs emotional and mental support than anything else at this point. They may not want to share their worries or exhaustion with their family members, much less the elderly who depends on them. But as someone whom they are not related to but is still close to them asks, the floodgates of thoughts may open.
According to Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist, sometimes a friend only looks out for the offer of support more than the desire to solve every issue a friend presents to you. “Some people don’t want their issues fixed by others and will genuinely prefer kind support in the way of listening, sharing time, etc.,”
It matters to keeps in mind that your friend may not be having the best time right now. Childrearing can be challenging, but it is nothing compared to looking after a senior who may even be bigger than them. Despite that, they have chosen to take on that role, so kudos to them for that.
According to Saul Levine M.D., “Good friends are open, genuine, and honest with each other. They tolerate each other’s frailties, appreciate their differences, and honestly criticize when necessary. ” In case you worry about your friend getting overly stressed because of their new responsibility, though, you can do a lot of things to make them less haggard than ever. Start with the ones mentioned above and see the difference it can do to their life. Cheers!