Oct. 14, 2020
You don’t have to be alone. One of the most important ways you can care for yourself while you care for a loved one is to create a support system. In caring for my mother, we first had a family meeting with her to discuss her diagnosis and to let her know we were going to do our best for her. But even in large families, the load is not always equally shared, due to geography, finances, or general mindsets. I used to say that although all my six siblings had tickets to the same Alzheimer’s journey as I did with my mother, others were farther back on the train; and some never got on.
Caregivers with few or no other family members to rely on, will have to find a support system outside the family. There may be other friends, church members, or colleagues who are willing to step in when they know what the need is. This could just be having another person who is willing to listen when you need to vent or having someone who can run the errands you do not have the time or energy to do. You can also strengthen your support team by accessing community services that provide respite for caregivers.
How have you been able to support yourself in the caregiving process?