“I’ve been caring for my mom for nearly four years now. I’ve been visiting her every day, but I’m seeing a steady decline and want to plan ahead for her future needs. Between running to help Mom and keeping up with my husband and children, I’m at the end of my rope. I need to know what options are available so I can find a solution quick.”
Sentiments like this are common in today’s world of family caregivers. Balancing careers, families, and aging loved ones is a unique challenge – one that takes an incredible toll. The intensity and stress of being a family caregiver can easily become overwhelming, especially without adequate support. In order to prevent caregiver stress and burnout, a number of senior resource centers and local government agencies are hosting caregiver workshops and webinars. Have you considered the many benefits of taking advantage of such tools?
Providing care to an elderly loved one is quite possibly the most challenging experience a person can have. Not only does it come with complicated situations and difficult decisions, it brings with it a variety of emotions. Family members who provide care to a relative experience anger, fear, guilt, frustration, hopelessness, sadness and depression – often on a daily basis.
Caring.com recently released the results of a new study in which 86 percent of the caregivers said that caregiving impacted their work situation because they had to take time away from their jobs, quit, retire early or reduce hours. 25 percent of respondents stated that they suffered from depression – well above the national figure of 9 percent cited in a study by the CDC in 2010.
In an effort to provide support to family caregivers, Caring.com, along with similar outlets, has organized caregiver workshops. The primary goal of the workshops is to provide awareness of resources and services available to caregivers, as well as offer a supportive group atmosphere where other caregivers can share their emotions, ideas, and suggestions.
These workshops typically are presented by a social worker or health care professional. Topics may include:
• Long-term care options
• Paying for elder care
• Home safety
• Care for the caregiver
• Legal issues
• Housing options
Family caregiver workshops are designed with you in mind. You’ll find answers to your questions and practical strategies that can help you in your caregiving journey. Check with your local senior center, community health department, senior non-profits and homecare providers for links to upcoming workshops in your area. These meetings also provide a fundamental opportunity to connect with other family caregivers experiencing similar trials and tribulations.
25 percent of family caregivers are now seeking support online via chat rooms, discussion forums, and social networks. Another trendy way caregivers are being educated is through webinars. These are especially popular for caregivers who are uncomfortable with traditional support group settings.
There is no shortage of topics for webinar discussions. Similar to caregiver workshops, these webinars are designed specifically for you – the family caregiver. A few recent webinars included titles such as:
• Finding the JOY in Caregiving
• Can I Survive as a Caregiver?
• Caregiving 101: Exploring the Complexities of Family Caregiving
Webinars feature information and resources that are current and relevant. You will also get the opportunity to interact with the speaker – keying in questions or comments. Most webinars are free to the public and can be accessed with an internet connection, meaning that you don't even have to leave home, so there should be nothing holding you back.
ClearCare has always been a proponent of using technology to provide quality care to the elderly and make life easier for the family caregiver. We encourage you to take advantage of a caregiver webinar or workshop, you and your loved one will enjoy a much better quality of care – and life. Feel free to share your experiences with caregiver workshops in our comments section and let's help one another thrive as a family caregiver!