Building Your Unique Caregiver Network
Caregiving is hard work that can leave you feeling lonely if you don't have anyone to turn to for support. Having a support system makes all the difference in the type and level of care you provide. It also helps you stay healthy, both mentally and physically, so that you can provide the best care that you can.
What is a caregiver network?
As caregivers, one of our biggest challenges is accepting that we can't do it all on our own. A caregiver network includes people and places that support you and the type of care you're providing. Those people are there to support you and to give you advice and help when you need it.
The hard parts of building a caregiver network are asking for help and finding resources. Don't let asking for help stop you from reaching out, as these people, resources, and organizations are here to help you. The information below will help you start finding the right resources for your caregiver network.
Who is in a caregiver network?
This depends on you and your unique situation. Each caregiver faces unique challenges and has different needs, so each network will look different. However, there are key people to include in every network. Some pillars of your caregiver network include:
- Family and friends can be there to help with small tasks or to give you an hour or two to yourself. They're also often able to provide emotional support when times are tough.
- Doctors are a cornerstone of a network. They supply continued care for you and your loved one and need to stay in the loop when there are new, changing, or concerning developments.
- Religious organizations can help in many ways. From support and care groups to a helping hand, see what your local place of worship has to offer.
- Information and referral organizations like senior centers and community health programs are great to find advice and services. Use a search engine to look for places like this near you to help you get started.
- Professional caregivers and caregiving organizations can help provide you with direction or an additional caregiver to lighten your load.
Tools for caregivers
- Elder Care Locator is a fantastic site that helps you find elder care resources in your community. You can use their site or speak with an information specialist at 1-800-677-1116.
- Social media is like an office water cooler. It's where people chat, share advice and resources, and offer answers when you're struggling to find them. Try to get involved with social media groups local to your area to create both an online and in-person presence in your community.
- Organizational apps like Lotsa Helping Hands, Meal Train, and Caring Bridge help you organize your network by keeping them up to date and arranging schedules so that everyone is in the loop.
- You can't underestimate the value of taking care of yourself. Organizations like Well Spouse are out there to provide the support you need when caring for a spouse.
How we can help
At Senior Helpers, we know how important it is to be part of a caregiver network. That's why we're here to help. Contact us today for information about how we can help you and be part of your network.