Caregiver support is a cause that is dear to my heart.
One of the reasons for having a caregiver support group is to gain emotional support. Encouragement from others going through similar experiences is helpful. An on-line support group for caregivers is accessible 24/7.
The duties and tasks we must perform often do not have a set schedule. And we just don’t always have the ability to “meet” at a certain time. Because we are so busy taking care of our loved ones does not mean we don’t also need the support of a like-minded group. In fact, it’s even more important for us, in many ways.
It’s true that we become “shut ins” as much as our patients do. We become just as isolated in this narrow little world in which we have to live. Our conversation skills suffer. Because we often don’t really speak to anyone else… that much. We forget how to make small talk, how to discourse about world events or literature or whatever.
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A lot of times this situation worsens because friends tend to fade away. They don’t know what to say. They are uncomfortable with what we are going through. Sometimes they might want to help but don’t really know how. In some cases, they may be reminded of similar situations in their lives. And feel guilty that they don’t help out more with their parents, grandparents, whomever. They don’t really understand the medical ins and outs of what we deal with, and they don’t know how to address it. They don’t realize how much good it would do us to talk about something else for a change…. And they may just know that we’re busy, and don’t know when would be a good time to call or visit
And we just let them go... let them slip gradually out of our lives, because we’re too tired, too beaten down to reach out and interact with them. It gets to be too much of an effort to even try.
But for our own sakes, we SHOULD try. We may not always be successful. But we need to make the effort to reach out to friends, to even make new ones. There are many studies that have proved that caregivers’ lives can be hell.
We end up neglecting ourselves... our health, our finances, our mental well being to take care of our loved ones. We “know” this… but we forget to act on it because we are so tired.
The greatest irony is that when we DO manage to get away and have a bit of a break...
Go somewhere... meet a friend... do something different.. it can actually rejuvenate and refresh us, so we are better prepared for the next caregiving task. Doing something nice for ourselves... something we enjoy, releases endorphins that actually help us, make us feel better.
It would be a wonderful world if everyone helped to take care of the caregivers they know. Since the world is not perfect... sometimes the caregivers need to remember... to not be ashamed, to ask for that help, to reach out for it, to try to end their own isolation.
How To Univolved Family Members Can Support the Primary Caregiver
What can uninvolved siblings can support the primary caregiver in providing in home care? In many cases, the primary family caregiver is a spouse or a parent with uninvolved siblings who are able to provide additional assistance. Uninvolved siblings can offer meaningful support by helping to manage stress and providing respite care for the primary family caregiver.
One way to do this is through financial contributions that help defray the costs of in-home care. In addition, they can also provide practical assistance such as grocery shopping, running errands, or even simply keeping their loved one company during visits. Finally, uninvolved siblings can lend emotional support by being an understanding ear and offering words of encouragement to their primary caregiver. In doing so, siblings can be invaluable sources of strength when it comes to providing in home care.
Providing support to a primary family caregiver can be an incredibly rewarding experience. In addition to being of assistance to their loved one, uninvolved siblings have the opportunity to deepen the bond with their primary caregiver and build stronger relationships within the family. By offering tangible support and emotional understanding, uninvolved siblings can make a big difference when it comes to providing in-home care. In doing so, they help ensure that their loved one receives the highest quality of care while also creating lasting memories for the entire family.
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