What social and emotional support resources are available for caregivers?
Taking care of someone can become exhausting. Feeling guilty about asking for help is a common feeling among caregivers. However, it is important to take care of yourself, if you would like to continue caring for someone else. Seeking support is nothing to be ashamed about. Sometimes you don’t have to look far for support or someone to listen. Friends, family, and neighbors can provide a great deal of support. The following resources are also available:
Grief Counseling & Support Groups
Group counseling and support groups give you the opportunity to have discussions and interact with a small group of people who may have similar challenges and experiences as you. This is a safe and confidential way to share problems and concerns. Many hospice programs and health organizations offer support groups, and a quick online search will often list several available groups. These services can take place in person or online, and many are free.
The way we live has changed due to technology, and so has the way we communicate. There are a growing number of online spaces where people can share feelings and ideas about a variety of topics, including caregiving. For example, Facebook groups and Reddit are two sites where caregivers may find resources and talk about their experiences. Access to these forums is usually free.
With individual counseling, you can speak one on one with a therapist. You may want to consider individual counseling, as it can help you find ways to better address troubling emotions such as anger, depression, and anxiety. It can also help you deal with stressors such as substance abuse, marriage and relationship challenges, parenting problems, and school difficulties. If your loved one is enrolled in a hospice program, they may have counseling services available. These services are also available through many private practices and organizations. Individual counseling can take place in person, online, or by phone. Counseling is covered by most health insurance plans and may be free through your loved one’s hospice program.
Spiritual support programs
Also known as pastoral care, this is for people of all faiths or who do not belong to a religion. Hospice chaplains are available to talk about your spiritual needs or concerns, and broader existential worries. Access to spiritual support programs are usually free.
A list of resources is available in our guide.