How would you describe a good listener, especially if it concerns caregiving?

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In my situation I would seek out people who can understand where I am coming from.. Sometimes I just want them to listen but I let them know that up front..


I think a good listener will let the caregiver vent. A lot of times the caregiver doesn't have the opportunity to have 'adult' conversations because being a caregiver for someone with dementia or Alzheimer's is like caring for a child in many ways. A good listener will not try think they can solve all of your problems, especially if they've never been a caregiver themselves. Asking thoughtful questions or just being quiet and listening and letting the caregiver vent is the best way to be a good listener.
I was a caregiver for my mother who died of parkinsons disease with some alzhelmers as well. There were many times when I needed some kind adult to "listen" while I vented. Thus, my response to the OP's post is this:

Ask that caregiver if they want you to help them problem solve a situation or only listen. If all they want is for you to listen, you can still ask questions; however, it is very important you let them know you are hearing what he/she is saying. One method of doing this is to say, "What I'm hearing you say is that you are frustrated for not being able to heal ...(their loved one)..." AND "What do you mean when you say you are angry...angry about what?" By asking for clarifications periodically, you can help that caregiver vent even more and, maybe, relief some of his/her pent-up emotions. (Caregivers are notorious for holding down our feelings AND THOUGHTS because we don't want to "disturb/hurt" the one we're caring for.)
Those of you who hold spiritual beliefs could benefit from a Stephen's Minister. We are trained to be listening caregivers and listening only. As Nothisfault said, we do not solve problems but help by letting people know they are heard. So if that interests you, contact ANY church who says they offer Stephen Ministry and ask about it and ask to be connected with someone if you so choose. You can look up the website of Stephen Ministry for more information. I was a caregiver assigned to a care receiver who has a husband with dementia. It helped her a lot, she told me.
I always hated it when friends tried to tell me what I should be doing or "what I was doing wrong." So maybe try to determine if the speaker is looking for advice/guidance, or if he or she just needs to cry/rant.
few people "get" caregiving for an elder. i can only speak for the dying. they want to review their life, listen even if youve heard it a hundred times. this time it will be with a renewed desperation / determination and all they want is validation and appreciation.
an optomotrist lady the other day was grooving on ednas stories of cutting logs and shucking corn. the lady said ; " i love this s**t . well duh, who wouldnt ?

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