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How do I get Caregiver Help?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2020
    Conjecture Corporation
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People who provide caregiving services to those who cannot care for themselves are often in need of help and support if they are to accomplish their work without experiencing job burnout. For this reason, it is important for caregivers of all types to become acquainted with the range of support services found in the community and make regular use of them. Even small communities tend to have some forms of caregiver help that can allow the most dedicated caregiver to have an occasional moment of respite.

One of the key forms of caregiver help comes in the form of transportation services. Many civic and faith-based organizations provide help in getting the patient to doctors' visits, or even on short supervised outings, such as to a church potluck or mid-week worship service. This can allow the caregiver to have some time away from the patient, even if that time is only for an hour or so. As a result, both the patient and the caregiver are less likely to tire of one another and become cross and irritable.

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Food services are another form of caregiver help that can make a huge difference in the caregiving task. Some community organizations can arrange to provide one meal a day to the patient, which effectively allows the caregiver to spend less time in the kitchen and more time taking care of other necessities. This break from cooking not only helps make the caregiver’s daily schedule a little less hectic, but also allows the patient to enjoy food cooked by more than one person.

Caregiver relief can also come in the form of a rotating roster of people who arrive every couple of days to spend an hour or two with the patient. This frees the caregiver to take care of other tasks, while also providing the patient with the chance to visit with someone other than the caregiver. Those free hours each week can make the difference between caregiver burnout and being able to continue the work with a sense of optimism and purpose.

There are several places to look for caregiver help. One is through local government agencies that can help with bedridden patients, or arranging participation in meal programs. Local houses of worship often offer ministries that can aid in transportation needs. If there are family members or loved ones of the patient living nearby, do not hesitate to involve them in the caregiving process in some manner. Above all, remember that you are only human, and can’t do it all yourself.

One of the traps that many caregivers fall into is believing that by accepting help, they are not doing their job properly. However, the fact is that even the most dedicated caregiver cannot possibly meet all the needs of a patient. Failing to recognize this and accepting caregiver support from time to time goes a long way toward easing the feelings of incompetence and frustration that often come along with trying to do everything all the time.

By accepting caregiver help, both the patient and the caregiver benefit. The level of caregiving stress is kept to a minimum, allowing the caregiver to remain efficient and focused when actively engaged in the caregiving process. The patient has the opportunity to see other faces, which can often help to ease the frustration level or any feelings of being a burden on the primary caregiver. In short, seeking caregiver help is a winning situation for everyone involved.

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