You are as important as your loved one. The demands of caring for elderly parents, an ageing spouse, or loved one, can put any caregiver in a stressful situation. Take time to care for yourself in the midst of caregiver duties. Doing so prevents caregiver burnout and improves your wellbeing.
When caregivers are consumed in their role, they find it difficult to spare time or effort for other matters. Some caregivers may feel that it is easier to stay at home or that they are unable to leave their loved ones. Spending time away from home is only for running errands or attending doctor’s appointments.
There might be lack of understanding from friends and family on what caregivers like you are going through. Over time, you may withdraw from socialising with others, resulting in an isolating and lonely experience.
There are caregiver community outreach teams who can support caregivers who are at-risk of developing depression, anxiety and burnout. It aims to support you in self-care through health and wellness activities, stress management, peer support, and future planning. You can also be engaged with basic emotional support, link up with support groups and counselling services where needed.
There are currently three providers for Caregiver Community Outreach Teams: Caregivers Alliance Limited (CAL), Club Heal, and Dementia Singapore, formerly known as Azheimer’s Disease Association (ADA).
There are people in similar situations experiencing and feeling the same way as you do. Support groups offer a safe and comfortable platform for you to meet such people and share your experiences. You will get to learn new caregiving tips and know useful resources. Not only will you be getting help, but you will also be able to help others. Such interaction can provide emotional support, allow better stress management and reduce sense of frustration and isolation in caregivers. The support groups are usually facilitated by professionals such as social workers or counsellors, though there are some peer-led groups as well.
Support groups can exist in virtual forms as well, such as online forums and social media platforms. Such platforms allow you to be part of a network of fellow caregivers, locally or internationally, without having to go down to a physical location. If you do not have the time, feel unwell, or prefer to maintain a degree of privacy when sharing your personal thoughts and feelings, online support groups may benefit you.
You can search online for such support group or ask other fellow caregivers to introduce you to some groups. Alternatively, below are some online communities you can check out on Facebook:
If you would like to address your challenges on a more personal level, you can seek counselling support from professionals. They can help you to understand and deal with your issues and emotions better.
You may approach any of the Community Intervention Teams (COMIT) who are Social Service Agencies based in the community to provide a holistic service focused on improving quality of life for clients with mental health issues and dementia, and their caregivers. COMIT provides counselling and other psychosocial therapy for clients and caregivers. Click
here to find out more.
Below are some Counselling Services you can check out:
Self-Care for Caregivers of Mental Health Patients
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