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31 Readily Available Resources That Offer Support For Caregivers

a group of friends wondering how to help caregivers with their available resources

While caregiving for a senior loved one is a privilege and a noble opportunity, it is also a tough job that can be taxing. Caring for your elderly loved one can lead to emotional, physical, and financial burnout if you do not have the necessary support from family, friends, or professional support groups. This burnout will in turn affect the quality of care you provide.

As a caregiver, you sometimes run a high risk of psychological and physical exhaustion if you don’t care for your well-being. You have a role of ensuring that you remain healthy and have accessible help when you need it.

Due to this, caregivers must have a strong support system where they can reach out when they need a break or are feeling overwhelmed. Amy’s Eden is a safe haven where you can get the right support you need to efficiently care for your loved one.

Importance of Caregivers’ Support

Most seniors who require caregiving services, whether from a family member or a professional, are usually frail, ill, recovering from surgery, or have a chronic health problem.

One way of ensuring you provide excellent care for your elderly loved one is by having access to peer connections, support, respite care, and medical care.

Successful caregiving is knowing your limit and when to seek help. It’s not a crime to want some free time to yourself and just relax.

Your daily actions and responsibilities influence your mental and general well-being. Therefore, if your caregiving role demands much from you — either physically or psychologically — you run the risk of exhaustion, which will affect your health.

For instance, if you are caring for a senior recovering from minor surgery, you can juggle this with your work and family. However, suppose you are caring for a loved one with a chronic deteriorating medical condition. In that case, it will demand a lot from you, and if you are not careful, you may experience caregiver burnout.

a local group discussing on the importance of senior caregivers

Some of the Most Common Caregiving challenges

In America, 1 in every five adults currently cares for their elderly loved one. Most of these caregivers are family members and friends who provide unpaid services to their senior loved ones.

It’s estimated that by 2030, 73 million people in America will need assistance in maintaining their quality of life and independence as they will be over 65. As a caregiver, you may help your loved one with activities of daily living (ADLs) and offer emotional support and companionship.

Caregiving, like any other profession, has its set of challenges which include:

Physical challenges

Some physical challenges will develop over time, especially if you are caring for someone with mobility issues and have to do some heavy lifting. Some of these challenges include:

Fatigue

a tired caregiver wondering if she should call a caregiver hotline and seek assistance

Caring for an older adult may leave you feeling as always tired or weak. The best part is that fatigue is a symptom and not a condition, and with proper care, you can avoid caregiver fatigue while caring for your loved one.

In most cases, you will have fatigue as you are simply trying to handle two schedules simultaneously (your schedule and your loved ones’ schedule)

You need to seek help on time to avoid being fatigued.

Sleep Problems

The intensity and responsibility of caring for an older adult could result in sleep problems for their caregivers. Research shows that caregivers caring for their loved ones are at high risk of insomnia.

a group of caregivers meeting at a local community center to discuss ways in which they can offer caretaker support to each other

As a caregiver, you should care for yourself before caring for your loved one. When you experience insomnia or a lack of proper sleep, you will not have enough energy to face your day and caregiving responsibilities. This can, in turn, result in unfinished tasks, falling asleep while at work, and a lack of concentration.

If you have to wake up several times at night to care for your elderly loved one, you may find it difficult to sleep deeply. If this is your situation, you need to devise a proper time management schedule that will enable you to find time to sleep. This is the only way to maintain energy levels and avoid caregiver burnout.

Risk of illness or injury

As a caregiver, you might have to do a lot of bending, stooping, and twisting, which can strain your spinal cord. Also, if you are doing some heavy lifting, you may end up putting pressure on your arms and shoulders.

There are ways in which you can help your loved one bathe, and get in and out of a car without straining your back. Taking some online courses or training to guide you on the best practices to help your loved ones without jeopardizing your physical well-being is crucial.

Weak Immune System

Caring for an older person physically and emotionally can stress your body. This stress can affect your immune system, making it difficult for your body to fight illnesses.

Mental health challenges

Caregiving can lead to some mental health challenges such as:

Depression

While caring for your loved one, you may not even recognize you are depressed, as this is a topic that most people are embarrassed to talk about. Most family caregivers view admitting that they are depressed as a sign of failure in their duties, and so they ignore the signs. But you need to know and understand that depression is common among caregivers.

A caregiver may develop depression as a response to challenging situations. The constant demands and strain of caring for an older person can sometimes weigh you down, leading to depression.

Another cause of depression is the constant need to sacrifice your emotional and physical well-being while caring for a loved one.

an older son looking at the horizon hoping to find elder care support for his parents' caregiver

Depression is a complex condition that results from several known factors:

  • Environmental triggers

  • Effects of Living with an Illness

  • Hormonal levels

  • Genetic characteristics

  • Grief and loss

  • Living with someone who has depression.

You need to understand that you do not have to experience negative feelings to realize you have depression. You will know you are depressed when:

  • You constantly feel overwhelmed

  • You are easily agitated

  • You are anxious

  • You feel guilty for having negative thoughts as you care for your loved one

  • You become a pessimist

  • You want to be alone

It is important to find a balance between your duties as a caregiver and your life. You need to create time for self-care and know when to call for help. You can start by asking other family members to chip in once in a while if you are a primary caregiver. You should also look into available respite care options near you.

A young caregiver after a hard day at work. Wondering about the support which is available to caregivers who are going through rough times

Seeking help is not a sign of failure, but it’s one way of ensuring you provide the best care to your loved one when they need it the most.

Take a break and go down the block and have your favorite coffee, watch that movie you’ve been meaning to watch, or go out and catch up with your friends!

Try to focus on your life; you don’t have to put your life on hold simply because you are caring for your loved one — you will be doing a disservice to yourself and them.

Emotional Stress

Managing your expectations while caring for your loved one is one way of avoiding emotional stress as a caregiver. Sometimes, things may not go as you want or expect them to, but by adjusting your perspective, you will make your caregiving journey smoother.

It is crucial to be flexible and avoid letting small hitches ruin your day. Schedule small breaks into your daily routine to ensure you have time for self-care and to reflect. Try simple stress management techniques like meditation and yoga if you’re feeling stressed.

Isolation

Daily caregiving routine can leave you feeling isolated, as you are constantly caring for your loved one day-in-day-out. You may feel lonely especially, if the person you care for has declining mental cognition.

Your friends and even family may fail to check on you as they don’t want to bother you. This failure may lead to feelings of abandonment and isolation.

On the other hand, you could also be too involved in the person you are caring for that you shut the outside world out. This means you may not notice when your friends reach out to you, and with time, they may stop reaching out altogether.

You may also experience isolation when you reach out to your family and friends for support, but you find that they are too involved in their lives to keep a conversation going.

If you are dealing with isolation, you need to look out for other means of support, try to reach out to online forums, or join a local caregiver support program or group. Feelings of isolation could lead to anxiety and even depression if left unattended.

joining local community and participating in various activities like gardening will help avoid isolation

Grief

Sometimes, you may be caring for a loved one, offering end-of-care services, and even though you know your loved one will pass on, grief will affect you as you watch them struggle. Grief is part and parcel of caregiving, and all you can do is prepare for the time you will no longer be with your loved one and make memories that will last even after they are long gone.

When your loved one passes on, you feel like you have lost a part of yourself. You may feel lost as you no longer have a daily routine to follow, but with some preparation, you can handle grief, making it more manageable.

Family challenges

Another challenge accompanying caregiving is its effect on your family’s dynamics. If you are the primary caregiver, you may feel isolated if your siblings are not supportive. At the same time, other family members may feel like you are not including them as you care for your loved one.

To avoid conflicts during this time, you can create a family communication group where you update them on your loved ones’ progress and, at the same time, encourage them to assist you in caring for your elderly loved one.

One of the easiest ways to avoid family conflict is to ensure there is always an open line of communication. Discuss the changes you expect in your loved one with your family and let them participate in the decision-making. Doing this will create a united team where each member will feel appreciated and their input valued.

a happy grandfather spending quality time playing with his grandson

Financial challenges

Caring for your loved one can be stressful, especially if you also have to bear their financial burden. When your loved one needs care, you will do everything you can to ensure they get the care they require. But this care can sometimes come at a great cost, and you must be very careful to ensure you don’t end up burning your candle from both ends.

elder care support for caregivers working on their loved one's finances

As a caregiver, you might also find yourself organizing your loved ones’ financial matters, where you must file their taxes, pay their bills, and plan their budget. At other times you will have to raise funds to cater for their medications and pay their expenses.

Financial challenges that accompany caregiving arise from various avenues like

  • Doctor’s appointments and paying medical bills

  • Loss of income as you may have to leave your work to care for your loved one. Missed career advancement as you take time to care for your loved one is also another one

  • Cost of buying your loved one’s caregiving supplies ( for example, food and incontinence care supplies such as wipes and absorbent pants)

The Benefits of Hiring a Senior Caregiver

A family will benefit immensely when they hire a senior caregiver, and some of these benefits include:

Provide Companionship to your Loved one

Companionship is crucial in the lives of seniors, and for seniors without any social activities, a caregiver will provide companionship. Seniors who are socially active minimize the risk of developing depressive symptoms and prevent cognitive decline.

a group of caregivers laughing happily after spending relaxing time at the community center

A caregiver will help the person they are caring for with company as they

  • Take their evening walk,

  • Watch their favorite movie,

  • Discuss a book they have read

  • Go out to social events together

  • Help with gardening

  • And spend time together.

Help Your Loved One Retain Their Dignity

Some health conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease may make your loved one more dependent on their caregivers. Your loved one will need assistance with their ADLs, which can be quite difficult for most seniors who have always taken care of themselves. When a caregiver cares for a loved one professionally, it helps the older person retain their dignity.

Losing the ability to carry out basic functions like bathing and dressing can be traumatizing, but a caregiver’s assistance will boost your loved ones’ self-confidence.

Your Aging Loved One Will Enjoy an Increased Sense of Independence

Talking to your aging loved ones about giving up some of their habits, like driving, can be challenging. Your loved one may insist on driving, carrying out their daily chores like grocery shopping, and even keeping their doctor’s appointments even when they are not in a position to. They are not being stubborn, but are trying to hold onto their independence.

Once you understand this, hire a professional caregiver to drive them to appointments.

Your loved ones will feel in control of their lives when they know they don’t always have to rely on you. Having to rely on others may make them feel helpless and see as though they are burdening them. There is nothing that gives a parent satisfaction than knowing their children are doing well, and one way of doing this is by trying not to bother the children with their needs.

Other benefits of hiring a professional caregiver include the following:

  • Help reduce the risk of falls on your loved one

  • Helps your loved one to take their medications at the prescribed time

  • Promote better diet

  • Allows your loved one to age in the comfort of their home

  • Provide personalized care

  • Flexible care options

  • Helps you have peace of mind knowing your parents are in good hands

Household Chores

Hiring a caregiver to support your loved one at their home ensures they remain in the comfort of a well-loved home. The caregiver will assist with the following:

  • Bathing

  • Dressing

  • Meal preparation

  • Light household chores.

Choosing the right senior caregiver

Choosing the right senior caregiver is one of the most crucial and challenging aspect when caring for your elderly loved one. You want to have someone who will help your loved one lead a healthy life.

Luckily, for those living in Reno and surrounding areas, Amy’s Eden is a top-rated senior care provider who can help you choose the right caregiver for your loved one.

When choosing the ideal caregiving service provider in Nevada, you must consider the following factor:

Understand Your Expectations and Let The Caregiver Know Them Beforehand

When you hire a caregiver, it’s crucial to understand their role in a senior’s life. Then communicate these roles with your preferred caregivers.

You will need to prioritize and itemize your loved ones’ needs so that your caregiver will come in with a clear-cut understanding of what you expect from them.

To help you with this task, you will need to answer the following questions:

  • Does my loved one require physical therapy?

  • Does my loved one have any medical condition the caregiver should know about?

  • Will my loved one require medical assistance?

  • Will the caregiver help my loved one with their ADLs?

  • Will the caregiver drive my parents to their appointments?

  • Do my parents need help with meal preparations?

  • Are there any additional chores like housekeeping and shopping?

Create a Caregiver Job Description

Once you are sure of your expectations, it’s time to create a job description that will clearly show your caregiver their duties and roles in your loved ones’ life.

Interview

Before hiring a caregiver, prepare a list of questions to ask them beforehand. If hiring from a home care provider, you can visit the home and have them assist you with the right caregiver who is compatible with your loved ones’ temperament.

a group of caregivers after attending a state program on caregiving

When hiring a caregiver from an agency, it’s advisable to interview the agency first. You can ask the agency some of the following questions and find if they are the right fit for your loved one:

  • Does the agency provide full-time support?

  • Does the agency have government certification?

  • Can you request a change in caregiver if you need to?

  • Does the agency train its staff in current caregiving trends?

  • What is the agency’s pricing structure?

After you are satisfied with how the agency answers your questions, visit their online platforms and check their rating and reviews.

Services offered

Before hiring a caregiver, check on the services they offer; for instance, you may want someone who can drive your loved one to their appointments but find out that the caregiver doesn’t offer such services as they need a driving license.

Additionally, check for the following before hiring a caregiver:

  1. Dependability

  2. Experience

  3. Verifiable References

  4. Compatible Personality

  5. Compassionate

  6. Focused

Resources for Senior Caregivers and Their Families

Some of the resources that you can check to help you as a caregiver and other family members include:

  1. AARP; is an organization that provides resources for caregivers.

  2. Aging Life Care Association, this organization helps caregivers and help seniors with age-related issues.

  3. Adult Children of Aging Parents

  4. National Elder Law Foundation

  5. FCA CareNav

  6. National Alliance for Caregiving

  7. Family Care Navigator

  8. Family Caregiver Alliance

  9. Alzheimer’s Association

  10. Independent Transportation Network

  11. Caring Connections

  12. Meals on Wheels Association of America

  13. National Council on Aging

  14. Americans with Disabilities Act National Network

  15. Administration on Aging

  16. Medicaid

  17. National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

  18. Eldercare Locator

  19. Benefits.gov

  20. Medicare

  21. Supplemental Security Income

  22. Department of Veterans Affairs

  23. Healthfinder.gov

  24. Caring Village

  25. MindMate

  26. Sanvello

  27. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

  28. U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives

  29. CaringBridge

  30. Lotsa Helping Hands

  31. PainScale

  32. Symple

  33. Medisafe

Conclusion

As a family caregiver, it’s essential you find the right support when you need downtime to recharge your caregiving batteries or pursue a future goal.

A senior caregiver can help with daily tasks and provide emotional support and companionship. They can also help seniors maintain their independence and quality of life while reducing the stress and burden on their family members. Families can ensure that their senior loved ones receive the best possible care and support by choosing the right caregiver and utilizing available resources.

At Amy’s Eden, we pair family members with reliable caregivers when they need an extra hand to provide assistance. We also take good care of our caregivers, giving them breaks and ensuring the environment is friendly. When caregivers do well physically, emotionally, and financially, they provide excellent care to our lovely residents.

Contact us today to find out how we can support you to provide exceptional care for your loved one.

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