Support for the caregiver has grown by leaps and bounds since I cared for my aging parents ten plus years ago. It was a frustrating and lonely road at that and my siblings and I spent many hours trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. Now, information and advice lies around every corner and its unfolding has been thrilling to watch.
Caregivers, both paid and unpaid, provide an incredibly valuable service to our loved ones and deserve the extra attention they are now receiving. My heart goes out especially to family members who, by choice or circumstance, have taken on the role of caregiver to a loved one and who with little, if any, experience or training are carried through by sheer act of will, love and commitment. They deserve all the support and appreciate we can offer them.
Taking advantage of the support options available online and off can make an enormous difference to the individual caregiver. Without the support now available, these individuals would likely arrive on the other side of the caregiving experience in a battered and wounded state, suffering from burnout, compassion fatigue and perhaps more seriously long term illnesses. I know I did. We are fortunately much more aware of the pitfalls and fallout of caregiving and while this awareness may not erase the hardship, it certainly can ease it.
If you are a caregiver or know someone who is, I would encourage you to read through the following list of caregiver support services and share them with other caregivers. You don’t have to go it alone. You can benefit from other’s experiences and expertise and make your job a little bit easier.
Throughout November, I will continue to highlight various caregiving organizations that I have come in contact with and will appreciate any feedback you have to offer.