Many family caregivers utilize networks on the job, says Kathy Birkett, Senior Care Corner founder, but they often don’t realize the same concept can be used to provide support to them as caregivers as well.
Greenville, SC (PRWEB) March 27, 2012
The millions of family caregivers of senior loved ones in the U.S. understand only too well the physical and emotional stress associated with their role. Too many don’t know where to turn for support from others to help deal with this stress. Senior Care Corner has tips for building a caregiver support network.
Networking is prevalent in work life, with mentors and peers providing guidance and support along the career path. “Many family caregivers utilize networks on the job” says Kathy Birkett, Senior Care Corner founder,” but they often don’t realize the same concept can be used to provide support to them as caregivers as well.”
Tips for Building a Network for Family Caregivers
1. Participate in social media to meet new people with similar needs or interests. There are a number of Twitter “hashtag” chats around caregiving and specific diseases where others going down the same path congregate.
2. There are many support forums and message boards online that provide specific information and support based on the caregiver’s needs.
3. Many communities have local support groups for aging and diseases faced by aging loved ones. These can be great places to meet others who can provide support and advice.
4. Turn to other family members for financial support or even simply someone with whom to talk. Many will understand this is a way to assist in providing care to someone who is their loved one as well, even when they cannot commit regular time to assist with daily tasks.
5. Friends, as well as the friends of the senior loved one, will often be awaiting your call when they know the situation. They may not initiate contact in order to avoid taking up what they know is the caregiver’s precious time but may be valuable additions to the network.
6. Often church organizations provide assistance to caregivers, especially when the one under care is homebound.
7. Members of the clergy can provide a way to lighten the burden. Sometimes having a place to turn where conversations are kept in confidence can be a real benefit to a caregiver.
8. The senior loved one’s healthcare professionals are key parts of the network for their knowledge and experience. They also understand the struggles faced by caregivers.
9. Children of the caregiver, especially if adults or teens, can often provide support by picking up some of the workload. They may welcome the opportunity to pitch in to provide care to a senior family member.
10. The caregiver’s spouse or partner can be the most important part of the network but at times the caregiver is too busy to realize the one closest to them is not included.
Family caregivers should not shoulder the entire weight of caring for their senior loved one. A network can benefit both the caregiver and the one under care.
About Senior Care Corner
Senior Care Corner(on the web at SeniorCareCorner.com) provides solutions, information and tools to families and other caregivers of senior adults to help them improve the lives of the seniors in their lives. Their blog, biweekly podcast and bookstore address a wide variety of topics family caregivers can use to better understand the wants and needs of their senior loved ones.