Being the primary caregiver for a loved one is difficult at the best of times. Yet millions of Americans take on this role, often without a word of complaint, caring for someone that can no longer do so themselves. Caregiving takes its toll both physically and emotionally, so taking the time to care for yourself is always a must – it’s impossible to be a great caregiver if you neglect your own well-being.
There are many ways in which you can help yourself when caregiving gets tough. Whether you’re struggling emotionally, financially, or dealing with a lot of stress as a result of your role, there are resources available that can help manage things.
The last thing you or your loved wants is to face caregiving burnout that takes its toll on your mind and body. From physical exhaustion to increased irritability, when you stop taking care of yourself it only has a wider negative impact on your caregiving and mental well-being, so don’t be afraid to look for help as it is widely available!
Here are some useful caregiver resources to help you in those difficult moments:
Caregiver Support Groups
There are tens of millions of caregivers throughout the country – more than 40 million of these do so without any type of pay. This often leads to financial strains and a lot of stress balancing caregiving with work and other commitments like family, so finding others in a similar situation is a great way to find support you may be lacking.
Given the huge number of caregivers across the country, there are likely caregiving groups in your local area that can help you in with the many aspects of caregiving.
Talking with people that are going through similar circumstances can help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling with a certain aspect of caring, whether it’s managing all your responsibilities, caring for a specific illness, or just finding someone to talk with.
The internet has certainly made caregiving an easier process, with many online resources helping caregivers understand what they need to do and learning more about certain illnesses. These should always be used if you’re ever feeling unsure about what is required of you as a caregiver or whether there is more that you can do.
This is especially useful if your loved one is dealing with a certain disease or illness such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, with information on each illness, caregiving advice, and other tips and tricks to help manage your caregiving roles.
Some notable online resources that might help with your caregiving include:
The government’s main online resource for Alzheimer’s disease and similar illnesses is a fantastic tool for caregivers.
Dementia Caregivers Support Group
An online support group of caregivers dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s, members offer caregiving advice for anyone struggling with their role, while also having various caregiving discussions.
National Institute on Aging
While this government run resource aims to educate people on all aspects of aging, there is a dedicated caregiving resource will valuable information on various topics, ranging from long-distance caregiving to Alzheimer’s caregiving.
Online support information regarding caregiving for veterans, includes a caregiver support line,
Finding Local Caregiver Support Groups
Finding local caregiver support groups is easier than you think too. The government and various charity organizations have provided a range of online tools that let you find local caregiving resources, with virtually every component of elderly care covered.
This government operated website is a fantastic database for locating various local caregiving resources. Simply search by your zip or city and you’ll find all local resources to help with caregiving.
Family Caregiver Alliance
The Family Caregiver Alliance’s Family Care Navigator is a database providing info on state-by-state caregiving resources, with everything from support groups to classes and events included on the database.
Mental Health America
Whether you or your loved one is suffering from mental health problems, Mental Health America is a great tool for finding local resources, including support groups, to help you.
VA Caregiver Support Groups
Anyone caring for a veteran may find there are unique challenges uncommon to most caregivers, so this online search directly can help you find local VA support groups that are experienced with veteran caregiving.