Through our latest research, we discovered that people are willing to help out more than we thought. The biggest challenge is knowing how to communicate.
There is often a disconnect between the caregivers who need help and the people who are ready and willing to help. That is where Tyze comes in. When support people join a Tyze network, 75% reported that it helps them be more aware of how they can provide support to the client or family caregiver.
In response to this research, Dr. Kerry Byrne wrote the following information to help describe the value and practical application of support networks.
Family and friends are the heartbeat of most care situations. How can you be a good supporter for a family member or friend who is caring for a loved one?
We have learned that information posted on networks results in help with all kinds of care activities and tasks. When people know more, they are able to do more. This is important because caregivers all over the world report needing help with things such as transportation to appointments, emotional support, being able to take a break from caring and finding out information about available community supports. But asking for help is hard. It often makes people feel vulnerable. And sometimes there is so much going on, that even asking for help feels overwhelming.
When researching support networks, Dr. Byrne often hears people say that they don’t know how to help out. You don’t want to offend someone or do something that creates more work. It can be easy to feel concerned that your are overstepping. Several leading care organizations suggest that being specific is key. This is true whether you are asking for or offering help.
Dr. Byrne suggests the following ways to reach out and let someone know what you can do:
1) I have 2 hours this Saturday – I could help with the yard work.
2) I can sit with your mom for an hour on Wednesday nights for the next month.
3) I have a car and can pick up groceries or drive your Dad to an appointment.
4) I’m really good at finding information online – I could look into community supports and send you some helpful links.
Instead of saying ‘how can I help?” you have just made it much easier for your friend or family member to know how you can pitch in.
Family caregivers tell us that it is reassuring to simply know that others care. So even if you do not have ‘time’ to offer up right now, take 1 minute to post a message in your Tyze network, share a photo and let someone know they are in your thoughts – it will make a difference! We are relentlessly committed to making it easier to receive and offer care and support. Stay tuned for some new feature updates that will do just that! Recent Tyze blog posts also include tips for how to be a good supporter, requesting and offering rides and ideas for how to contribute to care, even when you live at a distance.