November is National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM), a time dedicated to acknowledging and supporting those providing care to family members. Of the 53 million family caregivers in the U.S., many of them are providing support for older adults. Whether it be an aging parent, spouse, or loved one, the changing dynamics and increased commitment that comes from caring for an older adult can leave caregivers feeling burned out and alone. Here are five ways you can feel supported in your role as a family caregiver of an older adult.
- Engage in Self-Care
This may be something everyone knows, but it can never be overstated: you cannot effectively support others until you are supported. You are a person before a caregiver, and you deserve to have your needs met. Often easier said than done, self-care is one way you can ensure you are feeling supported as a family caregiver of older adults. Check out VOYCE’s blog on self-care for caregivers to learn more about different self-care techniques you can employ to help feel supported.
- Practice Asking for Help and Accepting
In outlining steps to engage in self-care, The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) mentions how being able to ask for and receive help is a skill essential to all family caregivers. Whether it be family, friends, community groups, or professionals, there is no shame in asking for help. Similarly, if someone offers to help, never be afraid to take them up on that offer. Having a mental and physical list of tasks people can assist you with when the offer arises is an amazing way to feel supported as a caregiver of older adults.
- Join a Caregiver Support Group
We understand that providing care for an aging loved one is a unique experience that other individuals in your life may not be able to understand. Joining a caregiver support group is a great way to feel supported by those who have a better understanding of what you are going through. Check out Caring Advisors to see the different caregiver support groups and resources in and around St. Louis.
- Check out the Caregiver Action Network
For many, being a family caregiver of older adults is a new terrain. Getting more education on your new role and the various ways to care for your loved one is sometimes all the support one needs. The Caregiver Action Network provides copious information and education on how to take care of an aging loved one.
- Reach out to VOYCEconnect
Having to navigate complex web browsers or call 10 numbers to get support is a hassle, and for most caregivers, the time it would take to find the resources you need is not time you have. To find support resources in the greater St. Louis area, contact VOYCEconnect at 314-919-2403 to speak to someone about the ways VOYCE can support you in finding the resources you need.