A Caregiver Support System: 5 Ways To Get Support Without Feeling Weak
When our children are young, we’re always telling them to “ask when you need help” instead of struggling or getting frustrated. So why is it we are almost always the last to ask for help when we need it?
Being a part of the sandwich generation, it’s important that we not only lead by example, but also that we preserve our sanity by leaning on the support systems around us.
You are not weak to ask for help. Quite the opposite is true. You are keeping yourself strong; and keep in mind that capable organizations are created solely for the purpose of supporting you, the Caregiver.
In fact, people like being asked to help! It makes them feel good. Just think back to the last time you helped someone. How did you feel? Probably great, right? That’s exactly how others feel when you ask for help.
You don’t have to do it all yourself.
Here are 5 things you can do right away to start getting the help and support you need:
- Make a list of family friends, and neighbors who can help you, include their phone numbers and email addresses.
- Make a list of tasks that they can help you with, whether it be grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, help with transportation to doctor’s appointments or even reading a book or doing a puzzle with your loved while you take a break for a few hours. Also note their availability.
- Local organizations, such as Heart of the Valley, Alzheimer’s Association, American Diabetes Association, in home care service companies can serve as forms of help and respite.
- Caregiver support groups can be found in local hospitals, community centers, disease specific organizations, hospice care organizations, and long term care facilities. Many give support specific to your family needs. They provide a safe place to make connections with those who are experiencing the same challenges, as well as challenges that have not yet been experienced. In this environment caregivers are able to express their needs. Support groups provide help on topics that are most important to the caregiver with advice from experts in the field of aging on emotional care, working effectively with your aging loved one, reliable products and services, and preparation for future needs.
- Adult Care Centers are another resource that can provide much-needed respite for caregivers, allowing you to spend time taking care of yourself while having the knowledge that your loved one is being cared for in a friendly, caring, and knowledgeable manner.
Providing for an aging parent can be stressful. If you don’t take care of yourself it will become draining and unmanageable to take care of the needs of your loved one. It’s important to be surrounded by others who can help.
Local Caregiver Support GroupsSaratoga – Saratoga Area Senior Coordinating Council (SASCC) Meets on the 1st and the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 2-3 pm. (408) 868-1257 http:/www.SASCC.org 19655 Allendale Avenue Saratoga, CA . Los Gatos - Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley (408) 357-7450 http://www.jfssv.org/seniors.html#support 14855 Oka Rd., Ste. 202, Los Gatos, CA . Campbell – SarahCare of Campbell – monthly meetings (408) 374-2273 http://www.sarahcarecampbell.com 450 Marathon Drive Campbell, CA.
Cupertino – Cupertino Senior Center- meets the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 3-4:30(408) 777–3150 http://www.cupertino.org/index.aspx?page=191 21251 Stevens Creek Blvd. Cupertino, CA
Alzheimers Specific Support groupsSaratoga – Saratoga Federated Church, Library 2nd Wednesday of the month 3-5 pm (408) 973-0905 http://www.saratogafederated.org 20390 Park Place Saratoga, CA Los Gatos – United Methodist Church, Fireside Rm. 3rd. Tuesday of the month, 1-3 pm (650) 962-8111 http://www.lgumc.org 111 Church Street Los Gatos, CA