7 QUICK IDEAS OF HOW CHURCHES CAN SUPPORT CAREGIVERS:
- Develop a community resource directory of services caregivers might need, such as wheelchair-bound patient transport, respite care, etc. Deliver it in print from to caregivers and make it downloadable from your church website.
- Support Groups. Research what is already offered through the Council on Aging, Alzheimer’s Association, hospice providers, and others. Then augment what is already available. Provide a list of support group providers on the church website and in church brochures, etc.
- Offer respite care activities and programs at the church or an emergency sitter program with trained, vetted, volunteers in the homes of caregivers.
- Offer chore assistance to caregivers. This might include special meal deliver, housekeeping or cleaning services, laundry, and yard maintenance. The church could hire people to provide these services or ask for volunteers who serve once or twice a year alongside the caregiver.
- Offer a phone hotline or an Internet message board service for caregivers in your community where people can share information, resources, and reviews of service providers.
- Offer a caregiver appreciation day for caregivers to have a break from caregiving duties. Work with local groups like hospices and the Alzheimer’s Association to publicize the event. Ask for discounts or free services from massage therapists, cosmetologist, and restaurants to pamper the caregivers for the day.
- Offer caregiving training events along with positive encouragement daily via a text message with a positive quote about caregiving.
Source: THE S.A.G.E Issue 29 | Fall 2015 Elizabeth Young, D.Min