Caregiving takes a heavy toll, but you’re not alone. These resources for caregivers will help ease your stress & provide the comfort of community
Caregiving is a daily endeavor that, while rewarding, can be an emotional rollercoaster. Especially if it’s your first time caring for an older loved one, navigating the uncharted territory can quickly become overwhelming.
But you don’t have to face these challenges alone.
If you know where to look, you can find a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, and tools to lighten the load. Keep reading to learn how to build a healthy support system and discover plenty of resources for caregivers to help you on your journey.
Caregiver Support Groups
Whether online or in-person, caregiver support groups are an invaluable source of comfort and encouragement. Surrounding yourself with people who understand exactly what you’re going through—the stress, the love, the heartache—can provide much-needed validation.
These groups offer a safe space to share your experiences, listen to fellow caregivers’ stories, share helpful tips, and provide each other with emotional support.
To find one that’s right for you, you can search for local caregiver support groups on Facebook, look for condition-specific groups on official websites (Alzheimer’s, cancer, etc.), or use Eldercare Locator to discover local elder support organizations and resources for caregivers.
Online Forums for Caregivers
When in-person support groups aren’t available or convenient, online forums can provide a healthy outlet. Whether you want to share your story, ask fellow caregivers questions, or simply connect with people on the same journey as you, caregiver forums are an excellent resource…
And they’re open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week!
Facebook and Reddit are great places to start, but sites like AgingCare and Caregiver Action also have thriving communities that offer mutual support, advice, and virtual hugs for those especially tough days.
The daily stress, challenges, and frustrations that come with caregiving are enough to wear even the toughest of us down.
If you find yourself feeling burnt out—consistently experiencing fatigue, irritability, lack of focus, trouble sleeping, etc.—or you simply want counseling from a licensed professional, there are plenty of therapists that specialize in caregiver support.
Therapy can not only provide the space you need to express your feelings and concerns safely, but also the healthy coping mechanisms to navigate the emotional challenges of caregiving more effectively. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
When you take care of yourself, you can take better care of your loved ones.
Helplines for Caregivers
When you want to talk to a professional over the phone or need immediate assistance, helplines are the way to go.
And luckily, there are plenty to choose from!
The US Department of Veterans Affairs has a toll-free support line for caregivers, veterans, and their families (1-855-260-3274) that offers counseling and monthly caregiver education.
One of the websites mentioned above, Caregiver Action, also operates a helpline available to caregivers all across the country (855-227-3640), providing free support from caregiving experts Monday through Friday from 8am to 7pm EST.
If your older loved one lives with Alzheimer’s and you need someone to talk to (day or night), the Alzheimer’s Association has a 24/7 hotline staffed by “specialists and master’s-level clinicians.” From general information to professional tips to crisis assistance, this free service offers all the support you need to address your unique situation.
Respite Care Services
Caregiving is often a round-the-clock responsibility, and everyone could use a break from time to time. Even if you’re not feeling burnt out, a short break can give you the space you need to recharge and come back refreshed.
Respite care is a powerful resource for caregivers that sends well-trained volunteers to your home, healthcare facility, or retirement home to care for your loved one. Depending on your needs, you can schedule short-term or long-term respite care. Short-term usually lasts for a few hours or a day, while long-term can last up to several weeks.
These services are great for when your family members and friends can’t step in for you and you need time to rest, spend quality time with other loved ones, or enjoy your favorite hobbies.
You can search for respite care services in your area on the ARCH National Respite Network website.
The Emergency Response App for Family Caregivers
As a caregiver, odds are the thought of your older loved one slipping or having an accident always lingers in the back of your mind—especially if they live on their own.
It’s human nature to imagine the worst-case scenario. But it’s also crucial to prepare for it.
If something goes wrong, you want them to get help as fast as possible, and you want to know about it immediately.
The Rescu app checks both these boxes, providing the fastest way to get help in an emergency, and alerting all pre-registered emergency contacts the instant your loved one sends for help.
With Rescu, police, fire, and medical assistance are always just two taps away—one for the service they need, and one to send an emergency alert.
Your loved one will never have to talk on the phone if they can’t or don’t want to, because the app uses GPS technology to determine and dispatch responders to their exact location within seconds.
At the same time, Rescu sends their pre-registered personal and medical information to their first response team, so they can quickly provide the unique care your loved one needs as soon as they arrive.
Help in just two taps, no talking required, and twenty times faster than 911. And thanks to the emergency contact notification feature, you and anyone else on their list will instantly receive a text with the nature of their emergency and their exact location, so you can respond as soon as possible.
Rescu is a priceless resource for caregivers that saves precious time in an emergency, which can save lives.
Learn more about Rescu and how it can protect your peace and preserve your loved one’s independence—available on the Apple Store and Google Play!