Sunday, August 29, 2010

Support Groups for Caregivers

By Anne Pagnoni

Being a caregiver for a loved one is an overwhelming responsibility. Many caregivers hold full time jobs; juggle children with their many extracurricular activities; and maintain their own household with laundry, bill paying, meal preparation, grocery shopping, yard work, cleaning, etc. In addition to their own familial responsibilities, they are responsible for the care of another adult individual, who typically has multiple physical and cognitive limitations. While initially the caregiving responsibilities may not be too taxing, as the aging loved one's limitations increase so does the time that the caregiver needs to spend caregiving. Overtime the caregiver will become overwhelmed and will need a support system in place to help him or her through the rough times.

Professionally run support groups are an excellent resource for the caregiver. Caregivers have the opportunity to talk with each other and share tips on things that have and haven't worked. Professional facilitators are available to provide useful information on relevant caregiving topics and to steer caregivers in the right direction when looking for additional services. Support groups usually meet for a couple of hours either weekly or biweekly. But what about the caregivers who aren't able to make the meetings or caregivers who need support between meetings? How do they get the help that they need?

Home Care Assistance of New Jersey has teamed up with an online caregiver support group designed to provide resources to caregivers and link them with professionals, who can share insight on particular caregiving issues. On Wednesday, September 1st Home Care Assistance will be making an announcement regarding this partnership with information on how individuals can begin utilizing the site. Stay tuned for more information!

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