The term “keep it together” may sound like a piece of motivational jargon we use to keep us from freaking out in chaotic situations, but it also holds some wisdom for both aging loved ones and family caregivers. It is by staying together and leaning on communities of support that we are able to get through the challenges of aging and elder care. Whether it is face to face interaction with other caregivers going through the same thing, a blog, or a book, there are many ways to find resources to help you get through. Here are just a couple examples to help you build a community of support in the Puget Sound.
Caregiver Support Groups
As with any hardship we experience in life, being in a community and having a support system of individuals is a huge factor in determining how resilient we will be and how we will make it through the experience. It is important to have not just close friends be a part of that circle of support, but other individuals that are going through the same process and challenges. Often common challenges are the connecting thread between people from wildly different backgrounds. When we think about aging or a difficult diagnosis later in life we think of it in terms of the individual, but it is really an entire family that is impacted by these life changes and the family caregiver is often carrying a heavy load. Caregiver support groups are popping up around the country as more and more adult children are finding themselves balancing work, family, and caregiving responsibilities. It can be difficult to find balance, climb the steep learning curve of elder care, or just cope with the range of emotions that come with accompanying a loved one in their aging process. Here are a couple websites to help you locate a caregiver support group in your area:
- Pierce County Family Caregiver Support Program:
- King County Family Caregiver Support Program:
- Human Resources/ Employee Assistance Programs: As caregiving responsibilities are affecting the workplace more and more, seek guidance from your human resources department. Your company may provide an employee assistance program that allows for support, resources, counseling, etc. in coping with the challenges of caregiving.
Technology has made ideas and professional wisdom all the more accessible to family caregivers. Even though you may not be able to meet them face to face, the words of others and online communities can be an important aspect to your self-care routine. Here are a few elder care blogs to check out:
- AARP | AARP provides a section of their blog just for the family caregiver. Find great articles on important issues affect the baby boomer generation as they seek to age well and help their aging parents do the same.
- The New Old Age (NY Times) This blog is dedicated to the adult child who is caring for aging parents. Articles speak to those coping with the challenges of longevity with compassion and intelligence.
- Caregiving.com | Denise Brown started one of the first website that incorporated online support groups and featured a blog of family caregivers.
- SoundLife Blog | As a Geriatric Care Management firm, we have been helping aging adults and their families age well and get the care they need since 1989. As the experts in elder care, we tackle hot topics in our resource-rich blog with dynamic new content posted throughout each week.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregivers: Further Resources
For those family caregivers caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, the care load and loss can be heavy. Looking for community support groups that tailor to the specific challenges of living with this disease can be invaluable to family caregivers. Here are a few unique resources
- Alzheimer’s Café | (206) 224-3757 | According to Alzheimer’s Cafe it is, “a way for people living with dementia and their friends and family to have the simple yet meaningful experience of connection with others and enjoying a tasty treat in a community setting. In this model, a restaurant or café sets aside a particular time to especially welcome people living with dementia- with a simplified menu and staff who are aware of the customers’ special needs. As Alzheimer’s Café invites people living with all types of dementia to maintain a place in the community, rather than becoming isolated or having t withdraw from enjoyable activities.”
- Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver Center: The Alzheimer’s Association provides a caregiver center to help family find information and training about the stages of disease and how to provide care. You can also get connected with a local chapter and find local Alzheimer’s support groups.
When it comes to finding quality Alzheimer’s Care or Dementia Care for your loved one, you have Sound Options. As a Geriatric Care Management firm and In-Home Care provider, we believe that aging safely at home is possible for those diagnosed with a wide variety and stages of dementias. This disease demands our creativity and customized care means providing caregivers equipped to understand and respond appropriately to difficult behaviors and unique needs of an individual with the brain disease. We are helping families plan for the future and find the memory care they need today. To find out more about our holistic elder care services, give us a call at 800.628.7649.
Published on July 21, 2014.