Three Things All Caregivers Need to Know
The world of caregiving is very complicated and often overwhelming. It can be one of the most difficult journeys one travels in a lifetime. However, it can also be joyful, beautiful and profoundly fulfilling; precious time spent together with those you care for and love.
There are three important things for all caregivers to know.
- You’re not alone.
While it may not seem like it sometimes, there is help and support available. You just need to be willing to accept it when offered, and ask for it when needed. For a lot of caregivers, this is one of the most difficult realizations. Help can come in many forms and from many sources. While others may not provide assistance or care the way you do, find a way to be ok with the help. Caregiver burnout is a real concern. No one can sustain 24/7 caregiving long-term completely alone. Many times, the caregiver’s health suffers to the point they can no longer provide the level of care their loved one needs. With additional help and support, you can provide care for a much longer time, if that is what’s desired.
- There are options.
Many caregivers don’t know how to seek out support, especially if they don’t have access to a computer or feel very computer savvy. Help can come from a wide variety of sources including family members, neighbors, church members, volunteer organizations, non-medical homemaking and chore services, skilled and non-skilled home health care and more. And if a higher level of care is needed, there are many great facilities offering many options for senior housing and care. In Central Minnesota, one of the best one-stop-shop sources for information is the Senior LinkAge Line. Access to amazing resources is available with a simple toll-free phone call (800) 333-2433 or if you do have a computer, access at www.minnesotahelp.info.
- Seek help and resources before you need them.
Start researching early, before the need arises. The worst time to find help and support is while you are in crisis. Options may not be available and time is usually limited. While your goal may be to keep your loved one at home for as long as possible, it is a good idea to seek out options and have your preferences identified, in case things don’t go the way you want. Many places don’t charge fees to be placed on waiting lists and some applications take a while to process.
We know that seeking resources is a daunting task on top of the care you are providing your loved one. Remember, you’re not alone.
Jodi Speicher – Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Good Shepherd Community
Jodi has spent most of her career working in senior housing and healthcare marketing in four states and has been the VP of Sales and Marketing for the Good Shepherd Community for the past 16 years. Her passion lies in working with older adults, promoting active aging and connecting seniors with local resources. She currently participates on a variety of local and statewide committees and advisory boards including the Walk to End Alzheimer’s planning committee, ACT on Alzheimer’s – Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud Metropolitan Area Task Force, is a Dementia Friends Champion, co-chair of the Expo for Seniors event, chair of the LeadingAge Minnesota Housing Committee, and on their Star Celebration Awards and Recognition Committee, and is a board member of the Becker Area Senior Center and Sauk Rapids-Rice Community Education.