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I desperately need other caregivers to talk to


Question: I desperately need other caregivers that I can talk to. Please help!

Dr. Amy: Of course you do! I've said this before and it's worth repeating: caregiving must be one of the most challenging jobs on earth. Not only is the work physically and emotionally demanding, it’s also complicated by the effects of ill health or diseases such as dementia, cancer, Parkinson's. And by family dynamics.

The big myth is that we should somehow know how to cope. And that's just not true! Unlike firefighters, soldiers, police officers, surgeons, emergency medical teams, and nurses who receive extensive training to help prepare them for the challenges they face day-to-day, suddenly, or with little warning, life can hand caregivers big challenges that we’re not always prepared for.

Talking with fellow travellers can make all the difference. The friendship, understanding, and validation you can experience is priceless. And while it can't erase the diagnosis, the camaraderie and insights can be uplifting and inspiring. Talking with others, you feel you are not alone.

Are there support groups in your community? Often, support is organized by disease state. If the person you are caring for suffers from heart trouble, you can call the Heart and Stroke Foundation. If it’s dementia, call the Alzheimer’s Association.  You can also ask your doctor or the hospital for contact information for local support groups. If distance is an issue, I encourage you to check out online support groups. The Caregiver Alliance offers a few. You can read more here.

Good luck!


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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. June 18, 2017 at 9:26 pm | Posted by Candace

    My husband is in the last stage of dying from a fatty liver disease, CHF, stage three kidney disease and diabetes. This has all happened two weeks after I moved cross country to be near my daughter and her family. Well, I thought that families support each other but big surprise...there tired of it. It not only my full time care giver roll, it is meals, groceries, grocery shopping, the wash, and all the bills. Please tell me how you care givers are doing it all I need HELP


    • June 19, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Posted by Home Instead

      Hang in there, Candace! We're sorry to hear about your husband and that you're not receiving the family support you had hoped for. It's not always realistic for one person to handle all the care duties and it's important to get help. Have you considered professional caregiving assistance? We recommend getting in touch with your local Home Instead office to learn more about the services available for families in situations like yours. Wishing you strength and hope for the days ahead!


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