Caregiver Perspective: “How Can I Help?”
I get a lot of offers to help; some sincere and others just being polite. What I have found is that people want to help but they don’t know how and realistically, many have their own problems and challenges so they can’t help in a way that involves time or money. While I really could use the help, I don’t want to put anyone out so I usually don’t ask BUT, if you ask me if you can do something for us, I may very well say, “yes.” Here are some ways you can help.
Inexpensive and limited time commitment:
- When you make your dinner, make an extra portion for us and deliver in a disposable container. No dessert and limit the fat content and bread please.
- Offer to pick something up at the store for us.
- Help me drop my car off for an inspection or repair.
- Stay with Lynn a few hours while I run errands (between the hours of 11 and 4 preferably due to his care schedule).
- Take your flu shot and don’t visit if you have a cold. Really, that means more to us than coming and possibly infecting either of us.
- Drop off an extra hand sanitizer, wipes, wound care supplies, dressing tape, ointments we use, paper towels (the ones with small sections preferably) and other paper products.
Things I need done and never have time to do:
- Taking trash to the dump.
- Mowing my yard.
- Racking leaves.
- Cleaning out my closets.
- Helping me repair my car or do maintenance.
- Cooking bulk servings of food (I’ll pay for the food if you cook and even give you the storage containers to use) Remember though, he has special food requirements so ask me first.
- Stay with Lynn so I can run errands.
- Helping change light bulbs.
- The “extra” cleaning other than surface cleaning.
Bigger jobs for groups who might be interested:
- Staining deck
- Cleaning gutters
- Cleaning out attic or garage (anything you take away is yours if you want it)
- Repair work (fixing stuff)
- Cleaning my carpets (I have a shampooer but no time).
- Creating a schedule for people to stay with Lynn during the day and helping him type, get things to drink, and eat.
You get the idea. Some things are big projects that the Boy/Girl Scouts or church groups might want to do; others are just those small, helpful, time consuming jobs or ones that require me to be away but can’t be done because Lynn can’t stay alone.
I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to help nor do I want to take advantage of others and honestly, I know most of this stuff is just everyday things that need doing and are part of my regular day anyway, but when you stay on the go “doing” for him, for the job, for the house or car or survival, little things taken away from the “to do” list can mean so much. They are appreciated more than you can imagine.
Do you celebrate your MS Anniversary?