July 18th, 2019

Aging with Grace…

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Dear Grace,
I care for my father and I don’t really have any questions but instead want friends and family to know how much I appreciate their visits. Can you share some of my suggestions/thoughts on this?

Ways to support a friend or family member who is a caregiver

Do not ask what you can do to help them; instead:
-Plan a meal for them and give them a choice of what day to receive it
-Schedule a visit that can allow them a break to run errands or keep appointments
-Create a booklet of coupons for errands, appointments, or other times when the caregiver can just meet friends for lunch or a movie and then work with them to schedule the dates
-If you’re handy around the house, create a coupon booklet for minor repairs and maintenance chores and follow up with them if they don’t use them
-A card or note that recognizes the caregiver for the job they’re doing
-A gift certificate for a massage and someone to stay with the patient
-Flowers and a visit to have tea or coffee

What you do doesn’t have to be a grand gesture; it’s the little things that count the most. As a retired caregiver, I’ll always be grateful to the friends and family members who were able to spare a little time for us.

Dear Grace,

How do I find someone to care for my dad when I need to run errands or need some free time for myself? He just moved in with my family and I’m not sure where to start.

Dear Veronica,
The place to start is with the Central Vermont Council on Aging. There are many programs and services out there that support the elderly and they are an excellent resource. You don’t mention your dad’s health status, but if he is under the care of Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, they are also a great resource. Both agencies are able to provide you with information and support to get the services you need to care for your dad. I’ve listed contact information below

Central Vermont Council on Aging Senior Helpline: 1-800-642-5119 or Central VT. Home Health and Hospice: 802-223-1878

If you have questions or are looking for information related to caring for an elder loved one or other individual with disabilities or health issues, please email me, deargrace@pibarre.org or write me, c/o Project Independence, 81 N. Main St. – Ste. 1, Barre, VT 05641-4283

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