Being a family caregiver is one of the most challenging—and rewarding—roles a person can take on. Caring for a loved one can be a 24/7 job, and it’s not uncommon for caregivers to feel isolated, anxious, or even burn out completely. If you’re in need of some support, know that you’re not alone. There are plenty of resources available to help you through this journey. Here are five places caregivers can turn to for community and support.
Why Caregivers Need Support
Many caregivers find that they need support in order to effectively care for their loved ones. This support can come in many forms, including emotional support, practical support, and financial support.
Emotional support can be incredibly helpful for caregivers. Caring for a loved one can be stressful, and it’s important to have someone to talk to about the challenges you’re facing. Practical support can also be vital. Having someone to help with things like grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, and laundry can make a big difference. And finally, financial support can be essential. Many caregivers find that they need to quit their jobs or reduce their hours in order to care for their loved ones, which can impact their ability to pay bills and afford necessary care. There are many organizations that offer financial assistance to caregivers, and this support can make a big difference.
Where to Find Support
Caregiving is a rewarding experience, but it’s not easy. Thankfully, there are many organizations and resources available to provide this essential support. Here are some places to look:
1. Online support groups
There are tons of online support groups available, no matter what stage of caregiving you’re in or what type of care you’re providing. These groups can be a great way to connect with other caregivers who understand what you’re going through—and who can offer advice and support when you need it. To find an online caregiver support group, try searching on Facebook (we have a Facebook group for caregivers linked here), reaching out to our team at one of the California Caregiver Resource Centers, or through your local hospital or care team. You can also check out the Family Caregiver Alliance website for a list of national and local support groups.
2. In-person support groups
If you prefer meeting people face-to-face, there are plenty of in-person caregiver support groups out there, too. These groups typically meet once a week or month, and they provide an opportunity to socialize with other caregivers and share your experiences in a safe and supportive environment. To find an in-person caregiver support group near you, contact our team at one of the California Caregiver Resource Centers, your local Area Agency on Aging, or search on websites like Meetup.com or CaringInfo.org.
3. Local resources
Many communities have specific resources available to help caregivers, including respite care programs, financial assistance, training programs, and counseling services. To learn more about what might be available near you, contact our team at one of the California Caregiver Resource Centers, your local Area Agency on Aging, or search on the Eldercare Locator website.
4. National resources
In addition to local resources, there are also plenty of national organizations that offer support and information specifically for caregivers. These organizations can provide helpful advice on everything from managing difficult behaviors to getting respite care services. A few national caregiver resource organizations include the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Family Caregivers Association, and Caregiver Action Network.
5. Your employer
If you’re employed outside the home while also serving as a caregiver, your employer may have programs in place to help you balance work with your caregiving responsibilities. For example, some employers offer flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting or reduced hours. Others may provide paid leave for caregiver purposes or access to an employee assistance program (EAP). To find out what might be available to you, talk to your human resources
Being a family caregiver is both rewarding and challenging—but you don’t have to go through it alone. There are plenty of community and support resources available to help you through every stage of your journey. From online support groups to local respite care programs, these five places should be your go-to when you need some extra caregiving support.
Join our Facebook Group
If you’re looking for a community of caregivers that truly understands what you’re going through. A group you can turn to when you have questions, frustrations, or need advice? Join our California Family Caregivers Facebook group today.
Our California Family Caregivers Facebook group is a safe space for caregivers across different communities in California to speak about their caregiving journey and interact with one another. Join us today.Share this post: