Grande Prairie Funerals – Tina Wolfe

The Many Roles of a caregiver of the elderly or terminally ill

On a daily basis we at Oliver’s Funeral Chapel have the absolute honor and privilege of meeting with family members who have cared for their aging spouse, parents, or perhaps a terminally ill loved one.  We are inspired by their stories of service, sacrifice, and testimony of love.

Let’s take a look at the many roles modern caregivers play:

Advocate:  Those we are caring for often need assistance asking the right medical, financial and other questions.  A family caregiver makes sure a loved one is not alone when facing tough decisions.

Nurse:  Doctor appointments, daily meds, symptom monitoring, aches and pains, caregivers are there to help.

Consoler:  When a loved one is frustrated, exhausted, and needs a moment to vent, a family caregiver listens and helps provide emotional support.

Companion:   Caregivers help their loved one avoid loneliness, playing cards, reading or watching television.

Helper:  Caregivers carry out the everyday tasks that still need to be tended to; shopping, cleaning, pulling weeds, managing the household while assisting their loved ones with activities of daily living.

Chef:  Whether a loved one can no longer make meals or the doctor has ordered a new diet, a caregiver is often the one who cooks for the entire family.

Merrymaker:  When aging or illness brings a loved one down, a caregiver helps keep spirits high, offering hope, smiles, even though, sometimes, their own spirits are hurting too.

Do you know of a caregiver?  Caregivers need to hear words of encouragement, affirmation, that what they’re doing matters and counts.   Perhaps you could offer to cook a meal, or cover a shift with the loved one, allowing the caregiver a much needed break, assist with some house chores, or pick up a coffee or tea for the caregiver and stop by for a visit.

At Oliver’s Funeral Chapel – we respectfully salute all our caregivers;  family, friends, nurses, doctors) – they truly are our community’s unsung heroes.

Sources:  R & Beach, S. 1999 Caregiving as a risk factor for mortality.

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