Hellen Keller once remarked, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Going it alone as a family caregiver can be done, but at what cost? Caregiver burnout and stress are prevalent in our fast-paced world; too much to do with too little time.
Building your caregiving community takes some time and effort, but caregivers who have done it can’t imagine how and why they spent so much effort going it alone when they didn’t need to.
How do you build a caregiving community? How do you put together a network of people and organizations that can take some of the burdens you’re carrying off your shoulders and help you with some of the heavy lifting you do every day?
These are some tried and true methods that other caregivers have found extremely helpful as they care for a loved one.
Five Tips to Build Your Caregiving Community
1. Organize your list of potential team members.
You probably have many more candidates in your life to join your community than you think – children, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, neighbors, etc. Of course, not everyone you enlist will be able to assist, but some will be happy to. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the skills and talents people have that you didn’t know about and how much of a compliment it is that you asked them to join you in caring for your loved one.
2. Evaluate Strengths and Assign Roles.
There are areas in which you can use assistance: finances, health care, transportation, legal issues, diet, and many others. Ask your family and friends which areas they’re most comfortable assisting with.