What to Say After Surgery – Providing Support for your Friend

At some point, we have all had at least one friend or family member who has endured some kind of surgery. We all make a promise to go visit. We pick up some flowers and then that awkward moment hits. We walk in the room and we are expected to say something. If you’re feeling that knot in your stomach, even as you read this, allow us to offer some advice as you think about what to say after surgery.

How Close Are You?

Consider your relationship. The closer you are, the more you can say without hesitation. If you’re not as close, you may want to be a bit more careful about what and how much you say. Be natural and warm. Don’t let the seriousness of the surgery push you too far past your comfort zone, causing you to say something you both might find uncomfortable. Stick to small talk and simple, yet caring, questions such as “How are you feeling?” or “Is there anything specific you need today?”

Stay Positive

Keep your conversation upbeat and positive. The Kidney Cancer Association shared an article last year, in which it explained that optimism and emotional well-being are critical to immune health and recovery. Leave your fears or concerns at the door, and instead let your friend know how well she looks and how glad you are to see her recovering. Revive your friends’ spirits with a thoughtful hospital care package. Share uplifting or humorous stories from work, meetings, or other places he or she is missing. And of course, “We hope you get well soon” is certainly welcome.

Be Specific

When you offer to do more, provide specifics. Don’t just say, “What can I do to help?” The vague, open-ended question puts too much burden on the recovering patient. Instead try something specific such as, “What day can I bring your family dinner?” Offering a specific suggestion will ease that burden and be a welcome gift.

When offering food or meals, be sure to ask about dietary restrictions or sensitivities. Post-surgery may bring some nutritional complications so asking ahead of time will save you both an awkward moment later, if you happen to use a prohibited ingredient. These days there are dozens of online recipe databases so you can find safe and healthy alternatives for meal deliveries.

Loving Whom They Love

Don’t forget your friend or family member’s loved ones when considering what to say after a surgery. Especially if they aren’t present during your visit, make sure to ask how their spouse or children are doing. The well being of their own family and friends is likely on their minds while they recover. Extend an offer to help with carpooling or running an errand, if they express concern over getting those daily tasks done.

The Most Help

If you expect a series of updates and needs throughout the recovery process, one of the best things you can say to a friend or family member after a surgery is “Can I set up a Lotsa Community for you?” There, you and other volunteers can connect with friends and family around the world and keep everyone updated on the recovery progress. You can also schedule meals, errands, carpools, and more to make the road to health that much smoother.

 

9 Hospital Care Package Ideas That Will Make Anyone Feel Better

When a friend or family member is admitted to the hospital, it can be isolating and lonely for everyone involved. Whether you are a caregiver or care for a caregiver, creating a care package for your loved one can bring much needed comfort. Here are nine ideas for hospital care packages that will make anyone feel better.

Continue reading

5 Tips to Make Summer Last

Can you hear the ring of school bells in the distance? Can you feel just a nip of cooler weather as the sun sets?

With just a few more weeks left of summer, the warm season is winding down and busy fall schedules are just around the corner. Here at Lotsa Helping Hands, we dread packing away our suitcases and swimsuits, but we are always happy to welcome everyone back from vacations and settle into more regular routines. For those of you supporting caregivers, this can be a time of respite, relaxation, and getting ready for the bustle of fall. But if you are providing full-time care for a loved one, the intensity of your responsibilities may not change much from season to season.

Continue reading

Caring for Kids and Parents: Help for the Sandwich Generation

What’s your favorite kind of sandwich? Roast beef and cheddar? Peanut butter and jelly? Hummus and veggie? Sandwiches, much like us, are diverse and varied, sometimes simple, sometimes complicated. But they always have one thing in common: the middle component holds it all together. If you are caring for kids and parents at the same time – you are the middle component holding it all together.

Continue reading

Helping The Community Help You

As a caregiver, the phrase you probably hear most from friends and family is “What can I do to help?” As you juggle the responsibilities of caring for a loved one through an illness or crisis, as well as the every day, ongoing daily tasks, ranging from family to career, those offers of help can be both a welcome relief and additional burden. Here

Community Helpat Lotsa Helping Hands, hundreds of thousands of caregivers have accepted community help during times of need. We recognize that you may find all those offers of help overwhelming, so here are a few ideas to empower you the next time you hear that question.   Continue reading

Home for the Holidays? 5 Signs to Look For as You Check on Parents’ Well-Being

By: Austin Kiliham

This holiday season, families across the county will come together to celebrate. Going home for the holidays can give adult children a window into how their aging parents are faring and a chance to pick up on any worrisome clues.

This year, while you’re celebrating, take time to do some sleuthing and look for these five signs that perhaps things aren’t going as well for Mom and Dad as they should be.

Continue reading

Employee Caregiving on the Rise: How Will Employers ReACT?

Employee, family member, caregiver, friend, citizen. We all carry multiple roles in society, and each comes with pressures to deliver the highest quality service.  Sometimes those responsibilities require more than a 24-hour day will allow, which has implications for not only individuals and families, but also businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Continue reading

Family Caregivers, Burnout & Respite

By: Comfort Keepers®

This month is National Family Caregivers Month and serves as a time to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of family caregivers far and near. Unfortunately, as the senior population is projected to increase in the following years, the number of eligible family caregivers is declining.  According to AARP, the ratio of caregivers to individuals over the age of 80 will decline from 7:1 in 2010, 4:1 by 2030 and 3:1 by 2050.

Continue reading

The DOs and DON’Ts of Caregiving

By: Alexandra Axel, The Caregiver Space

Do you want to give a caregiver in your life a break? Here’s what NOT to do.

When a loved one develops a health problem, typically one family member serves as the primary caregiver, depending on geographic distance from, or relationship to, the patient. In an ideal world, the rest of the family steps in to give the primary caregiver some respite.  But sometimes, relatives hoping to help can end up doing more harm then good.

 

Continue reading

November is National Family Caregivers Month!

By: John Schall, CEO, Caregiver Action Network

November is National Family Caregivers Month and this year’s theme this is Family Caregivers – Now More Than Ever!

Each year, more and more Americans are caring for a loved one with a chronic condition, disability, or the frailties of old age.  There are as many as 90 million family caregivers in the U.S. today.  And family caregivers, in turn, rely on help from volunteers – friends, neighbors, others in the community – with any number of the many tasks that go along with caregiving.

Continue reading