5 Options for Caregiver Help in Florida
As more Americans are living well into their retirement years, more Florida residents than ever before are in need of help from a caregiver. But what happens when their caregivers could use a helping hand?
Caregivers take on an important and rewarding role in the life of a relative, friend or other adult who needs support. But that role also brings a high level of responsibility and stress. When someone else relies on you for daily needs, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and let your own needs fall by the wayside. Research shows that caregivers are nearly twice as likely to suffer from depression as the rest of the population.
If you’re a caregiver, it’s essential to protect yourself by caring for your own physical and mental health with the same dedication as you care for the person in your charge. In this article we’ll discuss the common symptoms of caregiver stress as well as your options for help.
How to Overcome Caregiver Stress
Caregiver stress can creep up slowly, without much warning and is a very serious issue that shouldn’t be put off to one side as you continue to provide care for another. If caregiver stress isn’t addressed, there’s a chance that you could end up struggling with anxiety, depression and other health concerns.
Common Caregiver Stress Symptoms
It’s possible for caregiver stress to present in a variety of different ways. If you feel yourself becoming frustrated more often or transitioning between anger and helplessness in a matter of minutes – you are likely experiencing some form of caregiver stress. Other common signs and symptoms of caregiver stress include:
- Feelings of isolation
- Sleeping too much or too little; feeling like you’re always tired
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Losing interest in activities outside of caregiving
- Frequent headaches or body aches
- Fluctuations in weight and body shape
- Feeling sad or worried often
- Becoming easily angered or irritated
If you have been experiencing any of these issues, it’s best to speak with a doctor as soon as possible. However, one of the best ways to prevent caregiver burnout is to seek help throughout your time as a caregiver. Caregiver help is available for everyone supporting another, such as those helping friends and relatives with Alzheimer’s disease, and you can take advantage of it anytime. You don’t need to wait until you feel overwhelmed.
5 Options for Caregiver Help
1. Online Communities
Sometimes it can be difficult to find other caregivers who you can relate to, and even if you do it can be tough to get away for a group chat or coffee. Online communities can help. When you have access to your peers via an online community, there’s nearly always someone available to chat and you can talk to them without leaving your home or the home of the person you’re caring for. Connecting with other caregivers in a community can open up a world of help. You can talk about common problems you face and get advice from others who have faced similar challenges. You’ll also meet people who are feeling the same stress and concerns that you are. Other caregivers can provide crucial support that helps you stay healthy.
The American Association of Retired Persons or AARP has many resources for caregivers and their families, including community links and access to local Florida resources and online solutions. It’s a great place to start if you would like to find an online caregiver community.
2. Friends and Family
Reach out to other family members and close friends to let them know how you’re feeling. No one understands or appreciates your caregiving efforts quite like the support network you’ve built over the years, so let them know when you need help or someone to talk to. The more you talk about and ask for help solving the little day-to-day challenges that you face in your role as a caregiver, the less likely you are to feel like you must bottle everything up.
Your friends and family can often step in to provide active help as well. If you need a break to go home and take a nap, get groceries or enjoy an activity alone, your friends and family could watch the person you’re caring for while you’re gone. Even this type of short break can be powerful in relieving caregiver stress.
3. Local Help Groups in Florida
The Family Caregiver Alliance also makes it easy for local caregivers to connect online and in-person. In addition to providing information on the local chapters of some of the biggest national caregiver communities, you can find details about local caregiver support groups, caregiver resources, classes and events, and much more.
4. Support Meetings
While interacting online is convenient and can be helpful when you can’t get out of the house, talking with others face-to-face can be great for your mental health as well. In-person caregiver support groups make that possible. They focus on a wide range of topics and typically gather several times a month to appeal to as many people as possible. You can come to a group meeting and share or simply be there as a compassionate listener for others, whichever makes you feel most comfortable.
If this sounds like a good fit for you, there are several wonderful caregiver support group meetings right here in the greater Broward County area. Caregivers in other areas can check their city and county websites for more resources.
5. Caregiver and Senior Care Services
Just because you are a caregiver doesn’t mean that you can provide care indefinitely. Individuals with dementia typically progress to needing round-the-clock support from professions at some point, which is difficult for in-home caregivers to provide.
Help is available at your local supportive living and memory care communities. At Presidential Place, we provide both assisted living and memory care services. Assisted living offers help with daily activities while memory care offers more in-depth support with programs designed specifically to help individuals with memory impairments like dementia. Our services alleviate the pressure on caregivers when they need it most, allowing friends and family members to focus less on direct care and more on enjoying time with people they love.
As experts in the senior living and memory care communities, we also have a valuable library of online resources to share with you everything we’ve learned as caregivers.
Contact Presidential Place Today
It’s no secret that becoming a caregiver is a huge job, but that doesn’t mean that it should be something that becomes overwhelming. If you are under too much stress, chances are that you won’t be able to give the level of care that you’d like to. So take some time for yourself and check out the resources above to find the help you need when you need it.
Interested in learning more about our supportive living and memory care community in Hollywood, Florida? Please give us a call at (954) 864-0059 or contact us today for more information. Our friendly and experienced admissions team is always here to help.