Step 4 ~ Finding Support & Caring for Yourself

Find Support

It’s ok to reach out for extra support.  If you’ve discovered the scope of care that is needed beyond what you or your team can provide or if you’re not sure what is needed, you might consider getting help from an organization in your community.

Locate community resources.  A variety of support services are available to people age 60 and over and their caregivers.  Your local area agency on aging can typically help connect you to services such as home delivered meals, transportation, adult day service centers, care management and more.

Consult a professional.  Oftentimes a loved one’s needs can be complex, especially when health, emotional and financial issues come into play.  A geriatric care manager/aging life care professional can help you determine what is needed, find services, and arrange and monitor the care. Perhaps your workplace has an employee assistance program that can help connect you to processionals an services in your area.

Hire help.  If you see that your loved one needs help with daily activities you can arrange for home care services through ElderCare at Home.  Some home care workers do housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry and shopping.  Others provide more hands-in help with bathing, dressing, and transferring from one position to the other.

Care for Yourself

Don’t overlook the impact caregiving can have on you. Balancing caregiving with work and other family obligations can be stressful. When asked, family caregivers often say the most difficult part is the demand on their time. Stress can negatively affect your health, well-being and ability to provide care. Schedule regular time for what’s important to you and get help from others.

Caregiving at a distance. Coordinating care when you don’t live in the same community can be time consuming, expensive and frustrating. The Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center provides social workers, aging life care professionals and companions who can help monitor the care when you don’t live near by. You can learn more about their services here.

Allow yourself yourself to take a break. Respite care can help reduce yourself and give you the time you need to care for yourself.

Caregiving services and support groups.  There’s comfort in knowing others are experiencing the same ups and downs as you/  It may also give you ideas about other strategies and resources available to lighten your load. You can find local support groups here.

[1] Source: Prepare to Care A Planning Guide for Families. SAGE and AARP Prepare to Care Guide – AARP® Official Site .Accessed 18 March. 2018.