Caregivers give up so much to care for their family and friends, do we realize just how much. There is nothing to make this clearer than following the final good-byes, we find the caregiver sitting at the dining room table with no idea what to do to fill time with or who is there for them. And perhaps the worst of all how do you eat alone meal after meal, day in and day out.
Many times not by design or with any conscious thought we find that we cannot continue desired hobbies(like bowling) anymore as we are tired, the night driving is a problem and/or there is no one to help with our person. Now the time is available to go bowling, play cards, see a movie or just have a cup of tea or coffee and we don’t even know where to start. Many times we find our friends in the same role we have been in for the last few months or years. In so many of these situations the caregiver is simply overwhelmed with the lack of activity or choices to make.
Now that our caregiver can plan an outing or an indulgence for them self, there is a loss as to how to begin. Let’s start with what we as family or friends can do, beginning with an invitation to coffee or tea, gently explaining about a spot on the bowling league or an alternate chair at the card table. This is a good manner to help someone back into the social swing of things.
However, if at all possible we should begin this much earlier. While the caregiver is actually doing the caregiving let’s make available time for the person to keep the threads of social life open.