Finding the emotional support that you need as a family caregiver is sometimes more difficult than you might expect. Even as common as caregiving is now, caregivers often feel alone and isolated as they try their best to help their aging adults manage their health and other issues. Here are a few resources you can consider turning to for emotional support.
Friends and Family.
Your friends and other family members are an excellent source of emotional support for you. They may have their own experiences as a caregiver that can help you on your caregiving journey. You might not want to burden them with your worries and concerns, but that doesn’t mean that you should never bring up how you’re feeling when you talk with them.
Religious Support Systems.
If you have a religious support system, you may find that you receive quite a bit of emotional support from this corner. As with your friends and family, you might be surprised just who can add their experiences to your own as a caregiver and help you to understand your journey a bit better.
A Therapist or Counselor.
For some caregivers, the emotions that are coming up are extremely powerful. This can especially be true if you and your aging family member have had a history of difficulty in your relationship. Seeing a counselor or a therapist is not a sign of weakness. You’re helping yourself to heal and to manage your emotions in a healthy way.
Support Groups for Caregivers.
Caregiver support groups are full of current and former caregivers who know exactly what it’s like to be in the situation you’re in. They have a unique perspective that other people in your life, no matter how supportive they may want to be, can’t quite reach.
Local Agencies that Help the Elderly.
Agencies in your area that help the elderly often have programs in place to help caregivers, too. Make sure that you ask about the resources that are available to you as well as the ones that are available for your aging family member.
Your support network will grow and change as you grow and change as a caregiver. You may find that you need more support at some times than at others and that’s okay.