Ways for Home Caregivers to Stay Social

17508_10151409524141685_359347393_n.jpg“Busy” doesn’t begin to describe a typical day for most home caregivers. And often “busy” can lead to “stressed.” Home caregivers definitely need to find ways to keep their stress levels under control and their own quality of life at an appropriate level. One of the best ways to do that is by maintaining social contacts – talking to and seeing friends. But when one is so busy with all the daily responsibilities and tasks involved with being a caregiver, it can be very difficult to do that.

There’s no way to add more hours to the day, but there are some strategies home caregivers can employ to stay more socially connected. These include:

  • Opting for the phone or the computer. Nothing beats some good old-fashioned “face time,” but that’s not always possible. That’s why (well, one reason why) we have phones, Skype, social media, and email. Grabbing the phone and dialing up a good friend while tidying up the living room is a great way to reconnect while still getting a job done. Spending 10 minutes on a social media platform reading up on what’s going on with friends and commenting on their activities keeps a foot in the friendship door.
  • Inviting in. It’s great to get out of the house and go to lunch or a movie with a pal, but sometimes that’s not possible. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend over to spend some time, even if there are going to be caregiving tasks involved. Good friends are happy to help a caregiver as they cook dinner; chopping an onion doesn’t prevent a good conversation.
  • Meeting for coffee. Getting away for a whole afternoon may be challenging, but stepping out for a half-hour coffee break may be do-able. With all the coffee shops available nowadays, there’s likely one nearby that can serve as a convenient meeting place for a quick gab session.
  • Going for bulk. For home caregivers for whom time is really limited, it may pay to arrange a mass meeting – an outing with a big group of friends. If a caregiver does this, it may present an excellent opportunity for:
  • Following up on offers. When someone says, “I’d love to see you more,” it’s too easy to say, “We really should,” and then never find the time to do it. Make a point of saying, “I’d love to. My schedule gets so hectic, how about if we set a time right now?”

Many experts agree that maintaining social connections makes life much easier for home caregivers. Taking steps to stay in touch pays off.

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