Caregivers need support
After you learn as much as you can about your loved one’s disease or illness (Tip #1 for Caregivers), remember you’re not alone.
The second tip for caregivers
Attend support group in person or online.
There are thousands of support groups meeting around the world. Find one that fills your needs and start attending.
Despite my full work schedule, I was juggling my added role of in-home caregiver. Fortunately, much of my work could be done from home. Yet, I felt alone. Desperate for answers, I needed a direct line to someone with all the answers to my questions. Barring that, I began attending a caregiver support group for loved ones with dementia.
My father was diagnosed with dementia with a high probability of Alzheimer’s.
I had no clue what to do.
While learning as much as I could about my father’s dementia (Avadian’s Tip #1 for Caregivers), I gained a second family of caregivers who were having the same experiences I was.
The 10-15 caregivers who attended regularly were at different stages of caregiving. Some were getting started just like me. Others had been caring for their spouse, parent, or neighbor for years. During their weekly updates, I was better able to anticipate the road ahead.
One of the things that strikes me today, nearly twenty years after I became involved with my father’s care, is when today’s caregivers claim there’s little or no information available.
There is no excuse for not knowing,
with all the information available, today.
In the mid- to late-nineties, few people talked about Alzheimer’s, dementia, or caregiving. The stigma of dementia was so great, families felt embarrassed by Alzheimer’s. We still see this in third-world countries. Fortunately, awareness is growing. And like FIV/AIDS in the late ’70s and early ’80s, people grow to understand and fear less.
Plentiful resources are available, today. Find a support group. Start attending. Visit a different one if the first one doesn’t suit your needs. You can find ones that meet online or in person. A Google search for “caregiver for dementia support groups” yields many options. See what comes up for you.
The choice is yours. Remember:
You are not alone.
Others are walking the same road.
Together you will discover better ways of caregiving.
Who knows? These caregivers may end up becoming family. They became mine.
For more information, search for these topics: Alzheimer’s, caregiver, caregiver support, Caregiver TIPS, caregiving, dementia, support group