Caring for the elderly is typically a role where people go all in, emotionally, physically, and mentally, and sometimes for 24 hours on end. Resources like adult day programs through a senior center, or respite care, can help make caring for the elderly an easier task as well.
There are also many resources through your local Area Agency on Aging and other resources available through your state to adults age 18 and older. It’s no wonder that family caregivers and paid caregivers alike, often look for ways to support their own self care, often with a caregiver support program, counseling, or monthly support groups. Learn more about finding the right caregiver support groups and resources to help support you as a caregiver.
Caring for elderly adults can wear on you, especially if you are the main caregiver 24 hours a day. Look in your local community to see if there are resources available to you. Most communities have a senior center with opportunities for stimulation and social interaction for older adults. There may even be adult day care or adult day programs available. These small breaks in the day can be an extremely helpful resource to any caregiver, especially if you are a family member as well.
The Pennsylvania Department on Aging provides the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for each local area. Your own local AAA will provide contact information for any local programs and services available to you. The purpose of these programs are to support caregivers, age 18 and older, through respite care, financial assistance, and other support. This can be a very practical way to get support as you care for a aging family member or loved one.
Self-care is extremely important as a caregiver and one of the best ways you can support yourself is through a support group. Local communities have various monthly support groups for all kinds of caregiver situations, including those for specific conditions like memory care, physical limitations, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and more.
Caregiver support groups are safe spaces to process and share your feelings with others who are going through similar circumstances. You also build community and get a physical break away from your care recipient. Support groups are helpful because they give you practical tools and ways to manage stressful situations in your daily life. They are just one of the many things you can do to care for your own wellbeing, but they are extremely effective.
The job of a caregiver is an important one, and requires you to give your all. But that means you often need to make sure you’re getting the support you need to keep giving your caregiving role one hundred percent. Lean into these resources we’ve discussed above to make sure you are maximizing all of the resources available to you as a caregiver.