OpenPlacement Community > OpenPlacement Blog > Support Groups Are Your Best Defense Against Burnout

Support Groups Are Your Best Defense Against Burnout Christy Rakoczy

May 30th, 2013

SupportGroupPrimary caregivers can experience high amounts of stress as well as emotional and physical burnout.  When this occurs, the caregiver’s health is at risk and her ability to provide care diminished.

There are many means of finding support to help to deal with the stress and other tolls that caregiving can cause. Some places to seek support include:

Healthcare Provider

Speaking to a healthcare provider can yield a lot of benefits for a caregiver experiencing burnout. Healthcare providers can suggest means to deal with stress and emotional issues. Additionally, a provider can refer a caregiver to support organizations, specialists, or provide medicine if need be.

Clergyperson

A clergyperson can provide an ear to listen to caregiver and provide assurance. In addition, a clergyperson may have insight into community resources that can help a caregiver. Clergy can recommend organizations and support groups to join as well as individuals and organizations that can help with chores that can relieve caregivers of some personal responsibilities.

Family / Friend Help

Caregivers should engage the help of family and friends. While caring for a loved one, one’s own household needs help. Asking family and friends for help with household maintenance, lawn care, and groceries can relieve some of a caregiver’s stress.

Online Forums

There are many online forums dedicated to helping those who are caring for others. AARP is an excellent resource for those who seek an online forum for support while caring for loved ones.

National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP)

The NFSCP intends to provide support to those who provide care. This exceptional program focuses on needs of caregivers and provides access to resources in various states. The organization provides this information:

The program targets two groups: adults who are caring for elders and the disabled, and grandparents who are caring for grandchildren. The information below focuses on eldercare services.

NFCSP primarily serves family caregivers of adults 60 years of age and older, and people of any age with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. There are no income eligibility requirements for information or services. The overall goal of the program is to enhance the caregiver’s ability to keep elders at home and in their communities, in a safe and supportive environment. Each program works to provide support in five key areas:

  1. Information about available services, Outreach & Partners, and local programs
  2. Assessment of needs and access to services through one-on-one assistance to identify options and gain access to community-based services
  3. Training, support, and counseling, such as caregiver support groups and training classes to assist caregivers in making decisions, solving problems, and managing stress
  4. Respite programs to provide temporary relief through in-home care, or adult day care or emergency respite (see Respite Services)
  5. Supplemental services, on a limited basis, for home modifications and repair, transportation, and other things it may be difficult for the caregiver to do.

Every caregiver needs assistance in dealing with the emotional and physical stress and other issues that caregiving can cause. While it can be tremendously rewarding to assist in the care of a loved one, support can be helpful in ensuring that any caregiver receives the assistance she needs to be personally well while providing care.

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