SO YOU WANT TO HELP TO A carer?
In addition to my “public career” I am also a carer at home, almost full-time, for an ill family member. I include that information here, on my website, because the contribution of the thousands of carers in Australia is hidden.
When I became part of the carer community I noticed that people wanted to help, but didn’t know how.
I am passionate about changing this. So, I asked carers for some concrete tips.
Here they are!
These are all suggestions by real-life people who are caring for chronically ill kids, elderly parents and/or others at home.
If you have other ideas I can add, please contact me!
MAIN TIP: MAKE CONCRETE AND SPECIFIC OFFERS OF HELP RATHER THAN “LET ME KNOW HOW I CAN HELP” - IT MAKES IT SO MUCH EASIER FOR US!
“A friend always includes me on invites for things like Tupperware and lingerie parties even though she knows I’m not really interested - when I asked her why she said she didn’t expect me to respond or come, she just wants me to feel included and not forgotten ❤️”
Don’t take it personally when carers can’t see you much - they may not even be able to reply to your texts sometimes. It’s wonderful to know people still WANT you around and are thinking of you.
“Our dogs are so important to the health of our family but some days I just can’t face walking them for as long as I should. If someone offered to walk the dog even once a week, it would be a huge relief. Mind you, I’d want to make sure they were confident and competent with dogs!”
“I would love someone to drop off a home cooked meal. Like friends used to when my mum was having babies. It’s like my dream.”
Try to drop it off and pick up the crockery.
Try to cook something the carer wants to eat, not necessarily something for the whole family - it’s the carer’s treat.
Instead of asking “What can I cook you?” ask, “What’s your favourite meal?” or “I can cook lasagna, curry or risotto?”
“An offer to pick up kid/s and take them along to something fun like the movies or swimming.”
Could be great for kids with chronic illness (if they can manage it) or, for their siblings.
“I’d just love someone to come and tidy up the garden once every few months. Nothing perfect, just so it is not a jungle!”
“My adult child can stay home for a bit on their own, so I would love someone to check on them so we could go for short holidays.”
Offer to go to the house every day to check on the cared-for person, pets and garden and to make sure everything is working.