Tip #1: Begin a respectful, productive conversation with the caregiver without invading their privacy.
Why is this important to do?
One of the very common predicaments of caregiving is how isolated the caregivers can become. Social isolation is bad for our health. It can be especially harmful to caregivers.
How do caregivers become socially isolated?
All too often caregivers are so intensely focused on what needs to be done that they don’t have time or energy to reach out – either for support or even simple socializing.
Their friends, on the other hand, often don’t reach out to them for a number of reasons.
• They’re busy themselves and aren’t aware of their friends’ isolation.
• They’re afraid they’ll be blown off by the caregiver, their reaching out being seen as intrusive.
• Or they simply don’t know how to start a conversation with them.
This coaching tip will provide you with a straightforward way to start the conversation.
Find a private time and place and ask permission to discuss their caregiving situation. For example: “I want to check in with you about how caregiving is going and (not “but”!) I don’t want to intrude. Can we talk?” There’s no guarantee about how this inquiry will land and what kind of response you’ll get; however, respecting their space by asking for permission to speak about this is an expression of love and support in its own right.