Being a family caregiver means that you need to have your own support system in place if you want to succeed. If you’re not sure who or what can round out your support network, these ideas might help.
Other Family Members, Friends, and Neighbors
This can be a sticky wicket for many caregivers because it can be so difficult to ask for help. You might also feel as if some of the people who are closest to you and to your elderly family member should be jumping in to help. But you may need to learn how to ask for help from the people who are closest to you. Learning how to do this enables you to build a strong backup network made up of people who care about you and your senior both.
If you’re like many caregivers, you might come into contact with other caregivers only marginally, like when you pass each other in the doctor’s office waiting room. If you could take the time to stop and talk, however, you might realize just how much you have in common with each other. This is the power of the support group for caregivers. Make an effort to take the time to attend meetings. Line up senior care providers who can take over for you at home and learn as much as you can from the other caregivers you encounter.
Agencies that Support the Elderly
Agencies that work with the elderly and with their caregivers know the challenges that you each face. They can help you to find solutions that will work for your situation. If you’re not sure which agencies are the right ones to contact, talk to your elderly family member’s doctor or contact the local health department to ask.
Time Away Allows You to Support Yourself
Support comes in many forms, however. If you’re able to let go of being a caregiver, even if only for a few hours, you can support yourself much more than you thought possible. Many caregivers fear that taking time for themselves is selfish, but if you’re not taking care of yourself you can’t fully take care of your aging adult.
Being an efficient caregiver means that you need to have a solid foundation under you. If you feel as if you’re on your own, then caregiving is going to be more difficult than it should be for you and for your elderly family member.
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