Resources You Should Turn To As An Unexpected Caregiver

When the need for long-term care arises, often a family member of the ailing adult steps in to assume the role of caregiver. Sometimes, however, the need for a caregiver can happen suddenly and an unsuspecting family member may be the only one available to take on this task. This person is called an unexpected caregiver. Unfortunately, the lack of time to prepare for the overwhelming responsibilities associated with being a caregiver can take an emotional toll on the caregiver. To help combat feelings of isolation, we want to share a few resources you should turn to as an unexpected caregiver.

1. Support groups

As rewarding as being a caregiver can be, it can be equally as stressful and lonely to perform the role every day. Having a network of people to lean on for support can provide you with some peace of mind during more challenging days. If there are no in-person support groups near you, consider joining an online group. You can share frustrations and challenges, get advice from those more experienced with caregiving, and celebrate the small victories you may have. No matter what profession you are in, having a group of people to lean on can be especially comforting.

2. Other group memberships

While taking care of your loved one is typically a twenty-four hour, seven days a week role, it is important to take some time, whenever possible, to care for yourself. One way to do this is to consider picking up a new hobby or joining a group outside of a caregiver support group, such as a book club, a gym, or cooking classes. Taking the time to separate yourself from the daily responsibilities and stresses of caregiving can refresh both your mind and your body.

3. Respite care facilities

Remember that caregivers need a break sometimes too. Many caregivers feel guilty admitting that they need some time away from caring for their loved one. This is, however, a perfectly normal feeling to have. Respite care is comprised of temporary care facilities that allow you, as the caregiver, to take a well-deserved break while your loved one continues to receive care. Your loved one can spend a few hours, a few days, or even a week or two in this type of facility while you recharge your batteries and take care of your own needs for a while.

Above all, remember to take care of yourself and never be afraid to ask for help. Do not wait to ask us your questions and learn more about how to protect yourself as an unexpected caregiver.

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