Support for Caregivers

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“Sometimes asking for help is the most meaningful example of self-reliance.” -  Unknown

Are you the “I can handle it” type?  For many of us, the devotion we feel to our loved ones prevents us from taking care of our own needs.   Feeling the need to do it all can leave us overwhelmed, but   somehow seeking help for ourselves can make us feel weak.  The reality is that doing it all for our loved one and forgetting about our own needs is what weakens us.

As caregivers, we schedule medical appointments and all kinds of therapies for our loved ones.  Have you considered emotional therapy for yourself?  Scheduling time for yourself is critical to maintain the care of your loved one.  It is important to keep social contacts and activities that are meaningful to you.  Failing to do so can lead to frustration, short temperedness, increased stress and health issues.      

 February is National Heart Health Month, and it is a time to reflect on what we can do to reduce the risk of heart disease.   Reducing stress is on the list of changes we can make to reduce risk.  We all have been told to reduce our stress by taking time to go to lunch with friends, join an exercise class or an art class.  This month, we challenge you to seek out family and community supports and allow yourself to strengthen your caregiving role.   Reaching out to friends and family is essential to your physical and emotional health. 

There are several community resources in Broome County such as Yesteryears, Caregiver Services and various in-home respite options.  The Yesteryears program is a social adult day program providing your loved one with supervision and socialization while providing you with some time to meet your own needs.  Caregiver Services offers support groups or “Caregiver Chats” and educational seminars monthly.  Respite programs can offer in-home supervision of your loved one, allowing you free time to do things for you.   The Broome County Office for Aging can connect you to these resources.  Contact us at 778-2411 for more information.     

02/26/2017 - 7:00am