Did you know that approximately 15 percent of caregivers are young adults? As much as we can try to plan for the future, sometimes we may find ourselves unexpectedly assuming the role of a caregiver for a loved one.
As selfless as this role may be, it can also be unexpected. Often, taking on the responsibilities of a caregiver without much preparation can be overwhelming and isolating. To help you find the support you need to successfully perform your role as an unexpected caregiver, we want to share with you some resources you may not know about.
1. Community support groups
As a caregiver, caring for yourself as well as your loved one is crucial. We encourage you to join a community support group to connect with others who share similar challenges and frustrations. If there are no local groups in your area, there are multiple online groups that you can join. Being a caregiver can be isolating and having a group of people eager to support you during challenging times and celebrate your small victories can be beneficial for your own health and wellbeing.
While connecting with other caregivers is important, taking time for yourself away from caregiving is equally as important. Find a hobby that you enjoy, like knitting or baking, or consider spending an hour, three days a week at the gym. Chronic stress, lack of sleep, and lifting your loved one repeatedly if they are immobile, can take a toll on your physical wellbeing. Taking care of both your mental and physical health is crucial as a caregiver.
3. Respite care
Finally, when you need a longer break, consider taking your loved one to a respite care facility. This type of facility focuses on temporarily caring for your loved one while you take a well-deserved break to relax, run errands, or catch up on housework. You can leave your loved one in respite care for as short as a few hours or as long as a few weeks, depending on your own needs. If there are no respite care facilities in your area, consider leaning on another family member for support. If he or she can watch your loved one for an hour from time-to-time, you can take a quick break knowing that your loved one continues to be well taken care of.
These are just a few resources you may consider taking advantage of as an unexpected caregiver. Do not wait to contact our office to ask your questions and get the help you need to support you now and in the future.