Our site is for caregivers, sure, but I know that the patients our caregivers help visit our site, too. Recently, a husband reached out to me to express concern that his wife, who is his primary caregiver, is burnt out from caring for him. How can he lessen the load?

Here are suggestions from both family caregivers and professional caregivers on you can be a model patient:

Express appreciation

A ‘thank you’ often gives me an extra pair of wings – and it makes my heart smile. – Felicia H.

I currently have my Mom living with me. She tells she loves me 40 times a day, how grateful she is and I am her pretty girl and the special one daily. I have moments of frustration and being overwhelmed, but I cherish her gratitude. – Trice G.G.

A man I care for tells me thank you every single day before I leave…it really warms my heart every time. – Morgan B.

[My dad] told me everyday that he loved me. So even on the hard days when I had no sleep with lots of other things that needed to be done for my kids it was a reminder to serve my dad the best I could. – Laura C.S.

My Mom understands. She went through similar, and then some, when she was caregiver for her Mom. That makes all the difference some days. – Ed R.

Show that you care

Mom always asks me “How are you?” – Ana L.

When my son sits down with me and pulls my head into his lap and pushes the hair out of my eyes. I do that for him when he’s having a difficult day. To have him return the gesture, to have him show that level of affection melts my heart! – Lisa K.G.

Be glad to see them

Whenever I got home after running an errand [my husband] would cry out with a big smile on his face, “There she is!” – Beth T.

My husband tells me he loves my company. – Sally M.

Make them laugh

I don’t think there is one day that goes by that I don’t laugh at something my mother says. She cracks me up on a regular basis! – Rita G.

If she smiles and we can laugh together that’s the best. – Sue R.

My son is non-verbal, so just to see him happy and smiling melts my heart! Sometimes he gets silly and tries to make me laugh ~ so funny!! Makes my day. Knowing he is home with me, feeling loved and cared for brings me the strength I need and makes the sacrifice worth it all. – Jerilyn B.

Share what you know

One of my clients has taught me how to make jam and bake a pie (I’m a city girl)….it was great to get her back into the kitchen she loves, and for us to connect in a new way. That has lead to more trips to fruit stands, which leads to getting out of the car and walking with a cart…good exercise, and a bit of socializing goes a long way to a better night’s sleep. – Kerry N

Trusting me with their private feelings and thoughts means a lot! – Lisa M.G.

Sharing old stories–reminiscing! Elders sharing how they found happiness; what brought joy to their hearts & minds as a child or through life. What pastimes they enjoyed: music, whittling, bird watching, fishing, hunting, riding, traveling, sewing, telling stories–funnies, collections: vehicles, guns, pictures, dishes, spoons, stamps, etc. Vintage people are AWESOME! They’ve succeeded thus far! – Carolyn M.B.

Help with what you can

Mama folds all the laundry in the house. It’s her job and will not let anyone else do it. – Linda L.R.

When I’m not able to, my client cleans up his paper and does a few dishes. His concern touches my heart. – Shirley V.

Be considerate and cooperative

Let me sleep! Which is rare, lol. – Anna L.R.

When he eats all of the meal that I cooked and comments on how good it was. I know that is kind of simple to most but for me, it’s like I won the lottery. – Diane M.

Stay positive

He tries to help in anyway he can and never gets upset with me. His spirit is uplifting and patient..just what I need to calm my nerves on bad days. – Nora F.

He tries very hard to stay strong and positive for me, because he knows positivity it what I use to stay sane. – Christine D.R.

Take care of them, too

My husband sends me to the Spa! – Jan P.

My mom invites her neighbors over to socialize, but I’m pretty sure she does it so I have free time. – Robin B.

Written by Cori Carl
As Director, Cori is an active member of the community and regularly creates resources for people providing care.

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  1. My mother took my face in her frail hands every night and said, “Thank you, precious, for taking care of me. Then she would cry herself to sleep. It always broke my heart but it meant the world to me. I share this and much more in my new book CATCH YOUR BREATH launching later this year. It is a series of meditations for caregivers.


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