mother and daughter sitting on the couch talking

Caregivers need to find ways to manage their stress this holiday season and you, as family and friends of a caregiver, can use holiday gatherings to help them do this. But first you need to open the door to a conversation with the caregiver about how they are doing. Here are tips for them to get this conversation going and allowing the love and support to flow.

Here’s the first of 6 tips: starting a conversation about family caregiving responsibilities.

1) Begin a respectful, productive conversation with the caregiver without invading their privacy.

Why is this important to do?

One of the very common predicaments of caregiving is how isolated the caregivers can become. Social isolation is bad for our health. It can be especially harmful to caregivers.

How do caregivers become socially isolated?

All too often caregivers are so intensely focused on what needs to be done that they don’t have time or energy to reach out – either for support or even simple socializing.

Their friends, on the other hand, often don’t reach out to them for a number of reasons.

  • They’re busy themselves and aren’t aware of their friends’ isolation.
  • They’re afraid they’ll be blown off by the caregiver, their reaching out being seen as intrusive.
  • Or they simply don’t know how to start a conversation with them.

This coaching tip will provide you with a straightforward way to start the conversation.

Find a private time and place and ask permission to discuss their caregiving situation. For example: “I want to check in with you about how caregiving is going and (not “but”!) I don’t want to intrude. Can we talk?”

There’s no guarantee about how this inquiry will land and what kind of response you’ll get; however, respecting their space by asking for permission to speak about this is an expression of love and support in its own right.

Want to know more? Read the rest here.

Written by Yosaif August
I am a steadfast ally of people who want to live their lives with a greater sense of purpose and meaning. Henry David Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” I help them bring their song forth – so that they lead their lives with purpose, passion and possibilities.

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