Did you know?• The "typical" U.S. caregiver is a 46-year-old woman who works outside the home and spends more than 20 hours per week providing unpaid care to her mother.
• Most caregivers are married or living with a partner.
• Most caregivers are employed. Among caregivers age 50-64 years old, an estimated 60% are balancing a full or part-time job along with their caregiving responsibilities.
You might already know this because you may be one of the millions of people that are living in this reality. And it’s not easy. In fact, it’s incredibly hard to watch someone that you love lose their ability to take care of themselves or to feel like you are switching roles with your parent. It also can mean sacrificing your social life and your career or spending less time with the rest of your immediate family. However, the hardest part may be when you feel like you are doing it all alone. Thankfully, that’s where FirstLantic can help. This blog is dedicated to assisting you in finding available support so that you can continue to be the best caregiver for your family member while also taking care of yourself.
Online Support Groups:
Many support groups can be found on Facebook or have their own websites with available resources. There are a variety of groups that cover everything from how to care for someone with dementia to how to balance a career along with family caregiving responsibilities.
Working Daughter describes their group as a space for women who are balancing care for an aging parent with their career and the rest of their life. They have over 2,000 members through their Facebook group and their website.
This Facebook group is almost 10,000 strong and allows you to interact with other members and learn from their experiences. It is a closed group meaning that you have to join before you can participate or view posts.
Dementia Caregivers Support Group, Alzheimers and Dementia Caregivers Support, and Memory People are all groups that support caregivers to those loved ones that are affected by Alzheimers or Dementia. They also regularly provide information about educational opportunities or in-person events that you can attend.
Professional Caregivers Association is specifically designed to provide a space where professional caregivers can go to learn from each other and share their stories. Even though this may be your career choice, that doesn’t mean that the stresses that you face as a caregiver are any less real.
In-person Support Groups:
While online support groups can provide a wealth of information and allow you to interact with other members, you may feel that you face to face contact as well. Fortunately, there are many ways to find a group that is located near you.
For those who are working within the Veteran’s Affairs system to get help for their loved one, the VA currently offers a map to locate support groups in your area.
The National Center on Caregiving’s Family Caregiver Alliance provides a variety of links to resources for caregivers in all 50 states.
Maintained by the U.S. Administration on Aging, this site acts as a database for finding help in a variety of areas, from nutrition guides to elder abuse prevention to legal assistance.
For information and support resources specific to caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, this site helps you locate the nearest support group.
If you are dealing with a loved one that is suffering from mental illness, The Mental Health America network can put you in touch with someone to assist either you or your loved one. There are also websites such as reachdrbeach which is dedicated to providing information on recognizing signs of mental illness and finding the best path towards mental wellness.
While this is just a sampling of all of the resources available, it will help you get started in finding the right solution for you. The important thing is to realize that there are millions of other people that are struggling with the same thing and it will only continue to increase as our population ages. If you are at a point where you can no longer do it all alone, there are also affordable options for part-time care. FirstLantic.com offers hourly services that include light housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation and companionship. They also have private duty nurses and other professionals that can assist with medication management or physical therapy.
So, no matter what your situation, the most important thing is to remember that you are not alone in this journey. There are resources available and people that you can talk to for support.