August 28, 2013

Creating a Caregiver Circle of Support

Deciding to care for your aging parent in your own home is a noble, yet intimidating, task. Going through the aging process with your parent can be a rewarding journey. It will allow more time for you to bond with your parent for the last years or months remaining. Choosing to take on the task while caring for a family, children and make it to a full-time job every day, can be overwhelming. In order to wake up every day and not feel stressed, it may be helpful to enlist the support of a caregiver circle.

As the primary caregiver of your parent, you have chosen not to hire professional help. But that does not mean you cannot ask for help from others. Talk to siblings, close friends of yours or your parent’s and ask if they would be willing to help out with simple tasks.

Some tasks the caregiver circle can help with:

  • Weekly grocery shopping.
  • Helping with laundry.
  • Light cleaning, washing dishes or housework.
  • Drive your parent to and from medical appointments and the pharmacy.
  • Cook meals for your family or your parent.

When asking your family or close friends for help with some simple day-to-day tasks, be upfront about your expectations. If you are hoping to create a schedule and expect them to make a commitment that requires help each week, tell them. Explain you need all the help and support you can get.

Sometimes a caregiver support circle is not just friends helping with chores or running errands. It can also be a support group of others who are going through or have recently gone through the same situation you are in. They can give you tips, provide a good listening ear or just be a friendly person to support you when you are stressed out.

To find online support groups, visit Lotsa Helping Hands, Caregivers Support Network and Full Circle Care.