Being a caregiver is one of the hardest jobs out there. It's a full-time job that often doesn't leave room for much else. If you're feeling stressed, burned out, or like you're just not sure where to turn, never fear! There are plenty of resources out there to help you in your journey.
Here are eight of the best:
There are some great books out there specifically for caregivers. We recommend "The Caregiver's Survival Guide" by Elizabeth Lombardo and "The Caregiver's Path to Compassionate Caregiving" by Erika Funke. These books offer practical advice and tips for caregivers, as well as emotional support. As a caregiver, it is also critical to take care of yourself. Check out “Just for You: A Daily Self Care Journal” by Elizabeth Miller.
If you're looking for more specific advice or information on a certain topic, there are loads of great articles online. Try searching for articles on "dementia caregiving tips" or "how to deal with caregiver stress." Two of our favorite places to find information is Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care, and Happy Healthy Caregiver. You can also find helpful articles on the National Institute on Aging website or the Alzheimer's Association website.
3. Podcasts/TV/Radio Shows
Podcasts are a great way to get information and support while you're on the go. We recommend "The DementiaSherpa Show" and "Caregivers Circle." Both of these podcasts offer practical advice and emotional support for caregivers of loved ones with dementia. “Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio” is another great resource. Long time dementia care advocate Lori Le Bay talks to caregivers, people living with dementia and other advocates. A brand new TV show, called Dementia Diva’s will be airing soon on the free streaming service Saltbox TV.
Poetry can be a great source of comfort when you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Check out poems by Tish Davidson, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Billy Collins. Or search for poems on specific topics like "caregiving," "dementia," or "aging." Writing poetry with your loved one can be healing for both of you. Visit The Alzheimer’s Poetry Project online for books and information on how to create poetry together.
5. YouTube Accounts
There are some great YouTube channels out there specifically for caregivers. We recommend Dementia Careblazers, Dementia Success Path and Caregiver Stress. These channels offer practical advice, emotional support, and information on dealing with dementia specifically.
6. Social Accounts
Following certain social media accounts can also be a great way to get support as a caregiver. We recommend following @yourdementiatherapist on Instagram @dementiacaregiverssupportgroup on Facebook. These accounts offer practical tips, emotional support, community and information specifically for caregivers of loved ones with dementia.
Apps can also be a helpful resource for caregivers. There are apps that can help with things like managing medications, tracking doctor's appointments, and communicating with other members of the care team. We recommend the apps Medisafe, CareZone, and Life360 . These apps offer helpful features like medication reminders, appointment tracking, and care team communication.
In addition to all the great resources already mentioned, there are also some great websites specifically for caregivers. We recommend Dementia Map, The Caregiver Space, AgingCare, and Eldercare Locator. These websites offer practical tips, information on local resources, and forums where caregivers can connect with one another.
Being a caregiver is hard work. But it doesn't have to be done alone. There are tons of great resources out there to help you in your journey. So, if you're feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and know that help is available. Whether you need practical tips, emotional support, or just someone to talk to, there are people and resources out there who can help.
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