Caregiving is a tough job. And although you wish you were superhuman for your patients, there are limitations to what you can do and what your health allows. The challenges of caregiving are enormous and can eat up physical strength and mental resolve when they become overwhelming.
You try your best to be strong amidst the stresses of your job, so you may not think you need support. The thing is, it’s better to tap your resources before caregiving overwhelms you.
For caregivers who work in an agency, home or hospital:
Support groups are a reminder that you’re not alone. There are people like you who share your fears and anxieties. They understand what you’re going through because they’ve been in your shoes. They can back you up emotionally and provide valuable information to help you cope and overcome the challenges of caregiving. They can also offer practical advice you won’t find in self-help books. Check with your local community center or workplace for information about these groups, or look online.
Agency or hospital resources
Most facilities and hospitals have their own policies in place for supporting staff during a crisis or in handling work-related stress. You can inquire about services such as counseling that are available to you.
Employee engagement seminars
If employee engagement seminars are available, take advantage of them. These seminars often teach you how to battle burnout and regain your drive and motivation to work.
For family caregivers:
Online or in-person community and support groups
Just like for direct care workers, support groups for family caregivers are plentiful. These groups can restore your morale and help you cope with the challenges of caregiving.
There are resources on the internet that offer information and guidance for everyday challenges. You can find helpful tips and strategies that make your tasks more manageable.
Respite care offers services that temporarily relieve a primary caregiver of their responsibilities so they can rest and get a much-needed break from the demands of their role. Respite care can be made available in a patient's home, day-care centers, and nursing homes.
Adult day-care services
Adult day-care services are available for caregivers who go to work or adult patients who require supervised care during the day. Adult day care is also great for patients who feel lonely and isolated, since planned activities include social interaction. Other services that may be offered include nutrition, personal care, health services, and transportation.
Services such as transportation, housekeeping, and meal programs are designed to meet the specific needs of patients. Transportation can be arranged if a patient needs to go to places such as doctor visits. If they require help with cooking, laundry, and maintaining their residence, there are housekeeping services available. Meal programs deliver meals or arrange for a patient to eat their meals at a nearby center.
Senior centers act as an in-person social platform for meeting and spending time with other older people. They offer a variety of activities that help keep older people engaged and lead satisfying lives.
These are groups that cater to caregivers of patients with a particular disease such as Alzheimer’s. These organizations have a lot of information on how patients and caregivers can successfully cope with the patient’s illness.
Hotlines can often be accessed when caregivers need help and support right away, around the clock. Consider it your lifeline, where call agents can answer questions or do counseling.
Caregiver support is available if you know where to look. Keep tabs on available resources before the job becomes overwhelming. It’s a great way to stay prepared!
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