Are you a family caregiver who is feeling stressed and exhausted? If so, don’t feel alone. Studies have shown that family caregivers are more likely to report stress than people in the same age bracket in the general population. Many caregivers report feelings of high stress, depression, and poor physical and mental health. The simple fact is you can’t be a great caregiver unless you’re also taking care of yourself.
Finding proper support as a family caregiver is essential to your good health. Believing that you can shoulder the whole responsibility of caring for a loved one by yourself leads many caregivers down the path to burnout.
Putting together a strong support team is vital for you and the person you’re caring for to be your best. Many caregivers have found support from a variety of sources that has enhanced their quality of life, and that of their loved ones.
Let’s look at several sources that can help support you as a family caregiver.
Many family members say they would be happy to help a family caregiver if they were asked. They often don’t raise their hand and volunteer to help because they fear getting in your way and breaking up routines you’ve established caring for your loved one.
There’s no reason to feel guilty by asking for them to assist you from time to time. You would very likely do the same for them, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Friends are often an overlooked source of support for family caregivers. A good friend not only makes themself available to listen to you and offer counsel, but they are also very likely to help you with other types of tasks as well. You won’t be putting a good friend out if you ask them to occasionally help you out by driving your loved one to appointments, running errands, grocery shopping, or cooking.
The Beatles released a very popular song quite some time ago titled “I Get By With a Little Help With My Friends.” Those words still ring true today.
3. Local / Online Support Groups
By looking online, you can find support groups that meet in person or virtually. They ex