Helping the helpers

I'm about to drive back home to Auckland after another few days in Taranaki with my family who are caring for my 95 year old Grandfather.

As I've mentioned before, he requires a lot of attention these days, and there are a few core family members who are providing his full time care.

It has made me think about the various levels of care we give to each other in such situations. There's usually, as there is here, a core group of people who provide the hands-on, day to day care. If you're in a situation like this, or have close friends who are and want to support them but not part of the close team of carers, and still want to help, there are still lots of things that need doing that could be really helpful:

  • laundry - picking up a basket of laundry each day/second day and returning it clean, dry and folded would be a huge help to anyone, most especially those households where the carers are busy caring
  • groceries - doing the supermarket run so the pantry and fridge supplies don't run low (don't forget the toilet paper!)
  • baking - with so many mouths to feed, and visitors who drop in, having tins of biscuits and slices is very helpful at morning/afternoon tea and supper times
  • errands - all those little things like paying bills at Post Shop, picking up parcels, running the car through for a warrent of fitness etc
  • library - dropping off and picking up library and audio books - you might even help by reading books to someone who spends a lot of time in bed - ask, it might be something they'd really enjoy
  • company - just come visit - you don't have to fill every minute with conversation - sometimes it's nice for people who can't get out much to just be able to sit with someone they know and watch tv
  • ask - there's always something that needs doing :)