Are you experiencing feelings of caregiver loneliness or isolation? If so, you may want to take some time and consider some of these suggestions.
There are many reasons why caregivers feel isolated. The primary one is because the caregiver is overwhelmed with the duty of caring for a loved one. It may also be because of feelings of inadequacy or shame.
In order to help yourself from becoming isolated as a caregiver, there are some things you can do.
First, try making a real effort to spend time with other caregivers, family, or close friends. This may mean going along with friends or family for outings. Consider taking care of errands ahead of time so you can spend some quality time with people you love.
It's also important that you let yourself get involved in helping others share in taking care of your loved one. Even if it's just something small, such as buying baby wipes or cleaning the kitchen, this will help to show others that they can assist in small ways. Often, just being a presence is a great start! You should never feel alone or without support if others are around and willing to take some of the burden off you.
If you're feeling depressed, reach out for support. There are many support groups, both online and in your community, where you can meet other caregivers and learn about common struggles.
Even if you don't feel as though you have anything to share, listening to stories from others will make you more aware of your feelings and give you a new perspective on the people you are caring for and their families (or YOUR family).
When you are feeling depressed, you might feel alone and isolated, which can lead to feelings of failure and hopelessness. Rather than isolating from others, it might be a good idea to find others who are going through the same thing. Join an online support group or contact your local elder human resource service center to find others who are going through the same situation.
Remember that you are not alone in this situation. You have many people with whom you can speak about your feelings and find solutions. These people can help you feel less lonely or frustrated or isolated about your situation. They may even be able to offer advice about different resources you can turn to, including support groups, physicians or other professionals, and hospitals or elder care facilities.
You do not have to be alone in your struggle against caregiver loneliness or isolation. The important thing is to find others who are going through these feelings, either through a doctor office, an elder human resource service, or a volunteer agency. There is no shame in seeking help. In fact, the more help you receive, the better off you will be.
As you struggle with caregiver loneliness or isolation, remember that it is temporary. You and the person you are caring for are both going through difficult times. Over time, you will be able to continue to do your best for them. The best thing to do is not put off those times when you need to connect with others again. Seek opportunities. Look for common threads. Go out and DO things with others. The earlier you start, the better equipped you will be to help each other.
Steve Schafer is the founder of TheEulogyWriters and is probably the most prolific eulogy writer (and, no doubt, the best) anywhere. He lives in Michigan and has been writing eulogies for well over thirty years. The articles in this blog are designed to help people through the process of losing loved ones.