A popular bumper sticker encourages us to “practice random acts of kindness”. It’s not just a platitude; it’s a powerful tool that can bring unexpected joy to a friend or stranger who may be hunched under a heavy load of stress. Such is often the plight of caregivers.
A recent report published by nextavenuesm, a national PBS service for America’s 50+ population, says that there are an estimated 40 million Americans who are considered unpaid caregivers. It’s not an easy job, and it takes a personal toll on the person giving the care. The nextavenuesm report states that:
- Up to 20 percent of family caregivers suffer from depression.
- When caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, the risk for depression doubles.
As Baby Boomers enter their 60’s, the number of caregivers will continue to grow, and so will the need to practice random acts of kindness for these amazing people.
Being a caregiver isn’t a one-time weekend job, it’s a role that may last decades. The caregiver can’t stop just because they feel like it. They can’t fail to care for an elderly family member just because they would rather sit in the sun. It is a grueling daily and usually hourly responsibility to care for another human being.
Isolation and depression for caregivers is very real; they barely have time for all of their daily responsibilities, never mind finding time to talk with other caregivers or participate in support groups. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that caregivers know they are not alone. It’s actually very easy to express support and positive reinforcement. Loved ones may not be able to physical step in and relieve the caregiver, but there are ways to practice random acts of kindness that will make the caregiver’s life a bit easier and a bit more joyful, for example:
- Send flowers to the caregiver
- Send take-out dinner to their home
- Hire a housecleaner for one visit
- Send a card just to say thank you
These are simple yet powerful ways to express appreciation and bring joy to a stressed caregiver. As nextavenuesm says, “Random acts of kindness make a positive difference in people’s ability to cope with their current situation. Knowing that they are not alone and that other people care empowers them to stay positive.”
There are also opportunities to practice random acts of kindness with strangers. If you see a person in a store who is obviously caring for an elderly person, take a moment to help them put an item in their cart. Smile at them, say hello, speak to the elderly person, open the door for them. We all need human interaction. It is as simple and as powerful as that. These are random acts of kindness that we can all do with little effort.
Sevens companion program provides respite care for caregivers whether it is planned in advance or is needed on 24 hours’ notice. We can support caregivers when they need a break, or when they need back up care for an unexpected hospital discharge, for example. It can be one-time respite care or ongoing.
Sevens Home Care will provide support for you and your family, helping you to understand the disease while keeping your loved one at home. We primarily offer services in the individual’s private residence but will also provide one-on-one support for your loved one in assisted living and rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, hospices and hospitals. We go wherever and whenever a patient needs care on a regular schedule, weekly or monthly visits or for one-time respite care.
When it comes time for your loved one to be safe in a secure, memory centered facility, Sevens Residential Memory Care provides a safe, enriching environment. Our innovative house specializes in memory care including Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and is located in a residential neighborhood in Lakewood, CO. Accommodating only 12 residents and two full-time care partners, our model offers highly personalized supervision and a supportive community that fosters individual freedom.
To learn more about Sevens Home Care, call 303-470-1921. To learn more about Sevens Residential Memory Care and to schedule a tour call 720-477-1727.