Five ways to seek support as a caregiver - The Redditch Standard

Five ways to seek support as a caregiver

Redditch Editorial 28th May, 2024   0

Caregiving is no easy task, whether you’re a professional working for the likes of the NHS or private centres, or you’re looking after a family member while trying to juggle a job and children.

While it can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be incredibly stressful, tiring and be detrimental to your mental health.

Seeking support as a caregiver can often be the difference between keeping on top of your own mental health, and in turn providing better care for the person, or people, you’re looking after and falling apart yourself.

So, whether you’re in an NHS alcohol rehab aiding people overcome addiction, supporting a family member with dementia, or any other type of caregiving, here are five ways to get the help you need if you’re struggling…

Join a Support Group

One of the more beneficial steps that you can take is to join one of the many support groups out there for caregivers. They can be truly lifechanging, not only providing you with a platform to share experiences, discuss frustrations and seek advice, but also develop friendships that can last a lifetime.

Such camaraderie and friendship can be incredibly comforting during times of need, as well as any downtime you have. What’s more, by finding like-minded people it may also make caregiving easier, going on trips together and even providing those you are caring for with friends.

Local community centres, hospitals, charities and religious organisations often host meetings, while there are also many online platforms where you can find the support you need.

Utilise Respite Care Services

Respite care is available across the country in the likes of care homes and is there for you to get a much-needed break. This can be arranged for just a few hours for you to enjoy a hobby or activity you like, or it could be something a little longer, perhaps if you want a holiday or need some time to get other areas of your life in check.

Ultimately, though, respite care provides you with an opportunity to recharge and look after your own wellbeing.

Seek Professional Counselling

Caregiving can have a real emotional toll on our lives, leading to stress, anxiety, depression and even things like addiction.

Seeking professional counselling can provide you with an outlet to discuss your emotions and develop healthy coping strategies.

Therapists and counsellors can provide guidance and you’ll find many even that specialise in working with caregivers, so they will understand the more unique pressures that you face.

Reach Out to Family and Friends

Alternatively, reaching out to family and friends is also an option and a great source of support, particularly if you are caregiving for a family member. By reaching out you may not only find emotional support, but also some assistance.

Many hands can help, whether it be also caregiving, or helping with jobs for you, such as running errands, household chores or picking the kids up and so on. This can really help take a load off and ease stress significantly.

Access Educational Resources and Training

Finally, improving knowledge and skills as a caregiver can breed confidence and in turn reduce stress levels. They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly the case. Many organisations offer educational resources and training programmes tailored to caregivers’ needs. These resources can provide you with valuable information on medical conditions, caregiving techniques, and managing daily tasks.

If you are struggling, a combination of all five tips above is the best option for you, seeking the help you need to not only reduce stress but ensure the care you’re giving is the best it can be as a result, making for the happiest and healthiest lives all-round.

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