Most parents of a special needs child or parents like us, of an aspie, are completely wiped out. Most of the time we don't qualify for community assistance nor are we able to do what we want to do to get a bit of a break.
These lists are some suggestions- mostly this is for a person doing caring of a dementia pateint or a home carer. Much of this is applicable to a family of an aspergers student.
Ten Ways to HELP a Caregiver
Want to help a friend or relative who is a caregiver? Here's a few ideas to help you get started:(1.) Call the caregiver on a regular basis to find out how he or she is doing. Listen with an open heart--and a non-judgmental ear. You don't have to solve the problems--just listening is the best help you can offer.
(2.) Volunteer to stay with the care recipient one evening or afternoon a week, every other week, or every month--whatever you can offer. Encourage the caregiver to enjoy the break--and not worry about you or the care recipient.
(3.) Send a note expressing your love and admiration for the family caregiver.
(4.) Encourage the family caregiver to keep up their own interests and hobbies--and help them find the time needed to do so. Often, family caregivers feel that they've lost themselves, that their own personalities somehow got "fuzzy" or out-of-focus. Ensuring a family caregiver has the time and support to pursue their own interests fights off the "fuzzies".
(5.) Lessen the caregiver's load by running errands when you can. Offer to pick up groceries, medications, whatever the caregiver needs.
(6.) Call the caregiver and say, "Don't worry about dinner. I'll bring it over at 5:00." It doesn't have to be fancy. It just has to be from you.
(7.) Be a library runner. Ask the caregiver what books/videos/dvds he or she would like from the library. A good book or great movie can be a refreshing break for a caregiver.
(8.) Offer to make phone calls on behalf of the family caregiver to make appointments that can help.
(9.) Stop for a visit--with the family caregiver and the care recipient.
(10.) If asked to- share a HUG! Caregivers give so much of themselves--they need regular "hug replacements".
The top 10 needs of family caregivers
1.] Moral support
2.] Help with feelings of resentment and guilt- not yours- the caregivers...for not doing enough and not trying harder.
3.] Help with dealing with the caregivers and the patient's feelings of loneliness and depression
4.] Listen about the patient's diagnosis and prognosis
5.] Respite care. A break from caregiving
6.] Diet and nutrition -bring apples, fruit or ask what a favorite fruit is and drop some off.
7.] Talk about IEPs or legal information the caregiver might have.
8.] Help with housekeeping, cooking, and house and lawn maintenance
9.] Spiritual comfort - Most caregivers have little contact with churches or feel comfortable at a church....don't lecture...be supportive.
10.] The promise that someone else cares about and supports their caregiving work
The 7 signs of caregiver burnout
1.] Not eating properly
2.] Becoming more emotional
3.] Feeling overwhelmed
4.] Starting to withdraw
5.] Interacting less with peers
6.] Having less mental focus at work
7.] Having a disheveled unkept appearance