In the past, it’s possible that you acted as the caregiver for your aging parent. Perhaps they just needed some help with light cleaning at first and you were able to cover that for them. As they age and decline, they need more help and you hired a caregiver to help them with everything that needs to get done in a day. When you visit, you want your time to be valuable. But you find that whenever you come around, your loved one treats you more like a caregiver and less like a valued visitor. How can you change things up so you aren’t the caregiver, but rather just a relative who loves them? Here are a few tips to help you out.
Keep Visits Consistent
You’ll want your loved one to look forward to their time with you so keep your visits regular. If you are able to visit daily, try to do so around the same time. If you visit once a week, do so on the same day so they always have the joy of anticipation. The caregiver you have hired can make sure all of the necessary tasks are complete when you are ready to visit so you can just relax and have a quality talk with your loved one.
Place Visits On The Calendar
Schedule yourself out as far as you can and place your visits on the calendar so your loved one can look at it and know when to expect you. They may help the caregiver plan ahead for your stop if they know when you are coming. They can think about a special game they want to play with you or a unique task they might need help with, like sending out holiday cards. As long as you both know you are not the caregiver, but rather a person who cares about them, those visits can be truly special.
Suggest Other Activities
If you visit your loved one only to have them ask you to clean up the kitchen, help them bathe, or do other tasks that the caregiver is already taking care of for them, it might be up to you to suggest other activities. Bring their favorite movie and suggest you watch it together. Find an age-appropriate craft they would enjoy putting together with you by their side. Make lists of things they want to do for outings when you are able to get them out and about.
Let Caregivers Do Their Job
You have hired a caregiver so you don’t have to do as much for your loved one as you did in the past. They know how to do their jobs well and you want them to take care of the things you hired them to do. Let them take care of the items you have listed for them and fill in other duties yourself. Your loved one might be lonely to chat and you can lend them your ear, listening to all the old stories they love to tell. You have a new role in their life—not as a caregiver, but simply as someone who cares.