Self-Care with the Help of a Caregiver Support Group

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Of the many challenges that family caregivers must face on a daily basis, perhaps the greatest—and least addressed—is the mental and emotional health of the caregivers themselves. Self-care is often the last thing that caregivers address, and living with stress, a sense of overwhelm, and bouts of depression seem to come with the job description. But self-care is not something to ignore. Just as a parent is instructed on the airplane to put the oxygen mask on themselves before their child, we must build self-care into our routine, not only for our own well-being, but for the ultimate benefit of those we care for.

An often overlooked resource that can provide both emotional support and useful advise for a caregiver are Caregiver Support Groups. There are many groups that you can access online through social media, but there are also local groups available for an extra level of support. These are community-based gatherings, sometimes run by a professional moderator, but often self-organized, that meet on an ongoing basis. Often, a support group can be a lifesaver, allowing caregivers to talk to others who are experiencing the same challenges, and who can not only empathize, but offer valuable insights and suggestions. While friends are essential, it turns out that other primary caregivers who share your emotional and physical roller coaster ride may offer the best source of support. And even on your most frazzled days, you may be a source of help to them as well.

Caregivers in support groups report these key benefits:

  • Feeling less isolated by hearing stories from others in similar situations.
  • Having a space to vent and safely voice frustrations.
  • Gaining a sense of empowerment and control.
  • Learning new coping methods for stress.
  • Getting practical advice on caregiving strategies.
  • Improving caregiving ability.

Experts believe that these groups are one of the most effective ways for caregivers to cope with the stress that comes with caregiving. Unfortunately, seeking outside help can be a challenge for the typical caregiver, who often feels as though he or she must rely on themselves first and foremost. Family caregivers often isolate themselves—turning down coffee invitations, date nights and workouts at the gym. “There’s no time,” is the typical excuse. But the moment we surrender the notion of being “the one” who must handle it all and we ask for help, we immediately become a less stressed-out caregiver. Those who have chosen to share the burden have found great benefits from the experience.

But to see these benefits, family caregivers first need to find a caregiver support group. That can be difficult if you don’t know where to start your search.

How to find a local caregiver support group

  • Local hospitals or community centers almost always have handouts with lists of local support groups. Check there first.
  • The online Enter Eldercare Locator (eldercare.gov) is a great resource to find your local Area Agency on Aging for your city. Call them to ask about local support groups, which many include general caregiver support and respite, as well as specific needs groups such as dementia care.
  • If you find that there is not a support group in your community, partner with your local senior community organizations to start one up!

Many groups also have options available online if that is your preference.

Every caregiver struggles with the day-to-day challenges of their role. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and isolated and suffering through the experience on your own, try a caregiver support group. It may just make your life easier.

Experience the Hallmark Homecare Difference!

Hallmark Homecare is unique in the marketplace. Unlike senior care agencies, we do not employ caregivers. We are a direct-hire placement service for the best independent caregivers in the market. Our unique model brings you:

  • Higher Quality Caregivers: Most agencies pay caregivers about half of what you pay the agency. By hiring direct, you can pay more than the going rate in the market, attract the best caregivers, and still save a tremendous amount of money.
  • More Consistency and Control: One of the biggest complaints from those who hire agencies to provide their care is the lack of control. Caregivers often turnover or are reassigned by the agency. When you hire direct, you are in complete control of the care plan and the schedule.
  • More Safety, Certainty, and Security: Background checks, drug tests, liability insurance, reference checks, credential checks, and more are part of safe hiring practices for in-home caregivers. Many agencies do all of these things, but some cut corners and you have no way of knowing for sure. When you hire direct through Hallmark Homecare, we ensure that all of these things are done for each candidate we bring you, and because you are ultimately the employer, all documentation is provided to you.
  • Tremendous Savings – Usually 30% to 40%! Unlike agencies and registries, we only charge a one-time placement fee, in most cases. The result is a tremendous amount of savings over time.

Let us show you more about what makes our approach unique and special. Click the button below to request that one of our Care Coordinators contact you.

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