Caring Conversations: How To Build A Supportive Caregiving Community

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Caring Conversations: How To Build A Supportive Caregiving Community

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Building a supporting community is essential for caregivers.

You devote a great deal of time and energy putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own. Because you’re juggling so many responsibilities, you may find you don’t have as much time to visit with friends or be with family members. This can cause loneliness and feelings of isolation, which can have a negative effect on your wellbeing.

Maintaining social ties is an important part of self-care. There are ways to find and build a sense of community, even when you’re busy giving care to your loved one.

Friends


It’s okay – critical, even – to take advantage of opportunities to visit with friends and family, or to make time to participate in activities you enjoy. Don’t feel guilty about having fun. If a friend invites you out, and you’re able to go – go! Even a shorter visit, like meeting someone for coffee, can help you feel recharged and boost your mood.

Community support


Places of worship, hospitals, and community centers are often great sources of information, connection and support. Many of them are willing to help you directly or to connect you with people who can broaden your network. This may include support groups or informal networks of volunteers or others who look forward to helping those in need.

Area Agencies on Aging


Connect with your local Area Agency on Aging if your loved one is an older person. A quick internet search should produce the locations in your state. Area Agencies plan and coordinate services and programs for older people and can provide resources to help with your caregiving responsibilities.

Online resources


Does your loved one suffer from a particular disease or illness? Certain websites provide support resources specific to that condition, and many of these are written specifically for caregivers:

Some caregiving-related or disease-related websites also offer message boards where users can share their stories or ask questions, including caregiving.com. This creates an online sense of community that can be just as powerful and important as in-person support groups.

This is the seventh of a ten-part Caring Conversation blog series that provides caregivers with inspiration, resources, and useful tips. Caring Conversation blogs are produced through a partnership with Lilly for Better Health.

Other posts in the series:

Caring Conversations: A Lilly for Better Health and Caregiving.com Partnership

Caring Conversations: Caregiver Loneliness During the Holidays

Caring Conversations: How to talk with family about caregiving

Caring Conversations: Who is a caregiver?

Caring Conversations: Tax Tips for Family Caregivers

Caring Conversations: Self-Care Tips for Caregivers

Caring Conversations: How To Help A Caregiver

Caring Conversations: How To Advocate For The Person You Care For

Caring Conversations: A Caregiver's Guide To Elder Law

Lilly for Better Health is also having Caring Conversations with Joy’s House. You can listen to the first and second installments online.

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