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Caring for an invalid: Three simple ways you can support a caregiver


Caregivers, just like the patients they care for, need a lot of support. Show them you appreciate the service they are providing in these three simple ways.

1. Acknowledge the part they play

Most often, caregivers fade off into the background while they focus on the person they are taking care of. But caregivers have needs just like the patient they are taking care of. Please remember you are dealing with a human being. When you’re talking to a caregiver, do not give them a vague comment like we understand what you are going through, we are praying for you, you are in our thoughts.

The best way to help a caregiver is to make them understand that yes, the burden is big and they may not know how to go about it but all shall be well. See how to give them practical help rather than just talking.

Look them straight in the eye and ask them, “Now that I can see how big a responsibility you have how can I support you and how can I help you?” Be there for them. Do not just ask them how the patient is doing and keep quiet.

2. Are they healthy?

It is important to think about the health of a caregiver the same way we think about those they are taking care of. His or her health impacts both the caregiver and the person they’re caring for.

It is important that caregivers are in the best possible physical, emotional and psychological health, if possible, they should have a counsellor walking with them in this journey.

It’s very important for caregivers to consult a professional counsellor at least once a month when they are in a position to do so. This way they remain sober and able to assist the patient they are helping.

3. Provide basic, practical help

Remember this caregiver is an individual with needs like you and I. make sure you help them in taking care of their needs. When going to the market ask if they need anything bought for them. Call to ask if they have eaten their lunch.

If you are a close friend, ask if they have cleaned their clothes and if they haven’t you can even pay someone to wash the clothes for them. Remember because of their responsibility they may even forget to take care of themselves. Yes, for sure it’s their responsibility to take care of their sick uncle, aunt, baby, mum or dad, but there are people around them who should hold them up not to grow weary.

Finally, remember to frequently remind the caregiver that help is no more than a phone call away. Make sure he or she know how valuable they are and the fact that they can bank on you for support.

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