Ways to Care for Your Loved Ones

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We all want to help out our loved ones when they are in need. Whether it is something small like popping in to check on the plants while they are on vacation or more time-consuming activities such as petsitting or helping out with the kids. It’s what friends and family are there for, after all. So, if you’re looking for ways to help out your loved ones and show that you care, especially if they are struggling at the moment, here are a few suggestions.

When a Loved One Has Just Had a Baby: Casseroles and Babysitting

Every year, during the Christmas season, a cartoon strip makes the rounds on various social media platforms: it depicts “the Three Wiser Women”, who—the joke goes—visited Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus after the Three Wise Men had left and brought much more useful gifts. Where the Three Wise Men had presented baby Jesus with gold, incense, and myrrh, the Three Wiser Women bring fresh diapers, casseroles for the week, and lots of formula.

This classic Christmas joke may be funny, but it also points to a serious truth: having a newborn baby is an overwhelming and exhausting experience, which highlights the truth in saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’.If someone close to you has just had a baby, and you have some spare time to dedicate to helping them, one very useful thing you could do is cook a nourishing casserole dish, pack it into several freezable plastic containersand bring it over to the new parents’ home. Make sure you check with them beforehand in case anyone in the household has an allergy or intolerance, and be aware of foods that should be limited or avoided while breastfeeding.

Another way to help new parents is to offer to babysit. This may mean taking care of the newborn or of any older siblings—or both, if you are feeling particularly generous and brave! Remember that babysitting does not always have to mean caring for other people’s children while their parents are outside the home:parents of a newborn baby will definitely appreciate the opportunity to catch up on some much-needed sleep while you keep an eye on the little one(s)!

When a Loved One Needs Emotional Support: Suggest Adopting a Pet

Cats and dogs are fantastic companions for those who suffer from loneliness, mental illness, communication difficulties, or behavioral challenges.For instance, they are frequently adopted permanently by residential healthcare facilities such as nursing homes, which seek to provide their residents with a live-in emotional companion. In addition, the anti-stress benefits of petting cats mean that these furry animals have also been adopted by some universities and colleges to help relieve students’ anxiety during exam season!So if you have aging relatives living on their own, children with special educational needs, or teenage kidssuffering from exam stress, a cat or a dog might be of enormous help to them.

When the End is Near: Help with Hospice and Palliative Care

The ending of a human life is one of the most avoided subjects in day-to-day conversation—so much so that an international network of death cafes has been established to help people broach this difficult topic and make sense of the finite nature of their lives through facilitatedconversations.Unfortunately, this culture of avoidance often extends beyond the subject of death itself and to end-of-care medical practices and settings, such as hospices and care homes.

At LightBridge Hospice, however, Founder and CEO Jill Mendlen has found that “Hospice is really about living”. A registered nurse, Jill Mendlen founded LightBridge Hospice& Palliative Carewith the intent of lovingly caring for her patients and their families, tending to their emotional and spiritual needs, respecting their wishes, and ensuring that they never have to feel alone on their journey towards the final days of life.To achieve their purpose of providing individualized, holistic care for both the hospice patients themselves and their families, LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care employs doctors and registered nurses and social workers, therapists, spiritual care counselors, and others.

Hospice care is a type ofholistic care programdesigned specifically for those who are living with a terminal illness and who have been told that they probably have six months or less to live. Palliative care is similar to hospice care, but it is designed for those who have been told that their illness is incurable and life-limiting and do not have a clear idea of how long they have left to live. These programs are often delivered in specialized residential settings, such as care homes or dedicated hospice facilities.For patients who require a different kind of care, however, hospice and palliative careprograms can take the form of visitation services, where different healthcare professionals visit the patient in their own home or in a more generic healthcare setting such as a hospital or a nursing home.

If someone you love is facing a diagnosis of an incurable illness, they will have to deal with a myriad of different feelings, worries, and practical concerns. You could help them by organizing their hospice or palliative care for them, driving them to medical and other appointments if you can, andbeing there to listen to them, whether they want to talk about their fears or be distracted with funny stories. Always make sure you access appropriate support yourself, too, whether through your loved one’s care program or elsewhere. When you are caring for a loved one who is going through a difficult time,it does not pay to only focus on their needs and neglect your own; such a course of action is likely to lead tocaregiver burnout and therefore make you unable to care for others in the long run.