One of the deepest needs of a caregiver is to have someone to listen.
To listen, really listen without judgment may be the best gift you can give. And you can give it every day. It doesn’t have to—and shouldn’t—be a once a year event.
The top 5 reasons listening to a caregiver is important are…
- The caregiver may give you insights you do not see. Your carereceiver may behave quite differently when with you compared to the primary caregiver. It’s important to know this so you can get a clear picture of the stage of your carereceiver’s condition.
- The caregiver may be stressed and need help. You may see or hear signs of stress or upset that you can help relieve.
- The caregiver may need a safe place to vent. Caregiving can be frustrating, especially when the carereceiver is someone you love. The changes in his condition can be upsetting, and the caregiver may need to tell someone about them. You can give a gift that costs nothing in money, but is priceless as far as support and caring. How? By giving a caregiver a safe place to talk, and to listen without judgment. And to keep the content confidential, unless you feel it’s a matter of safety.
- You can give the caregiver a sense of belonging and help to relieve the loneliness of caregiving by listening.
- In listening you may get insights into how you can help. Listen with your ears and your heart. You may also need to use your eyes to look at the caregiver, see if she’s healthy and getting enough rest… and that there’s someone caring for the caregiver.