How to Help Your Loved One

Allow them to talk.  Listen without judgment. Acknowledge and validate their feelings, and let them express their feelings in many ways. Avoid taking any negative feelings personally.  Let them have control over their situation as much as possible.  Include them in decision-making and discussions.  Let them do as much as they want and have the energy to do, no matter how slow, painful, or difficult it seems to you.  Don’t underestimate their pains, symptoms and fear. They are real and valid.  Talk about subjects you used to discuss together, the times you shared.  Laugh.

Making the most of community services

Most everyone is aware that there are community services available for patients and caregivers. But how do you get them? Whom do you call? How do you find time to set up services while you are providing care? Unfortunately, there are no easy answers, but finding these resources can make a big difference for both patients and caregivers.

Services in your community can include adult day care centers, home health aides to help with personal care, home-delivered meals, respite care to give you a break, transportation services, and skilled nursing.

Caregiver services in your community-Call your local senior center, senior services organization, county information and referral services, university gerontology department, family service, or hospital social work unit for suggestions. Or call your local Area Agency on Aging.

Caregiver support for veterans-If your care recipient is a Veteran in the U.S., home healthcare coverage, financial support, nursing home care, and adult day care benefits may be available. Some Department of Veterans Affairs programs are free while others require co-payments, depending upon the veteran’s status, income, and other criteria. Call your local VA office.

Your family member’s affiliations-Fraternal organizations such as the Elks, Eagles, or Moose lodges may offer some assistance if your family member is a longtime dues-paying member. This help may take the form of phone check-ins, home visits or transportation.

Community transportation services-Many community transportation services are free for your care recipient, while others may have a nominal fee or ask for a donation.

Adult day care-If your loved one is well enough, consider the possibility of adult day care. An adult day care center can provide you with needed breaks during the day or week, and your loved one with some valuable diversions and activities.

How you can find caregiver services in your area – Go to to explore the Family Caregiver Alliance’s Family Care Navigator, a state-by-state resource that helps you locate services for family caregivers, and resources for older or disabled adults.


Submitted by: Odyssey Hospice

Contact: (210) 733-1212