3 Key Items to Establish Your Caregiving Support Network

If you consider yourself to be a typical family caregiver, like me, you haven’t received any training to become proficient at caregiving. For this reason, it is incredibly helpful to have a network of support. Caregiving for the ill-prepared becomes a lot less burdensome when you have a reliable team to lean on, not only during stressful times, but at any time. With that stated, it’s never too soon to create a reliable network of support. 

FCSN  Day Care  Club

1. Family Caregiver Support Network (FCSN) - Family Caregiver Alliance

Family Caregiver Alliance Support Groups facilitates incredibly helpful connections with other caregivers both online and in person. As part of the National Center on Caregiving, the general mission of the Family Caregiver Alliance is quite simple:

“To improve the quality of life for caregivers and those they care for through information, services, and advocacy.”

So, if you’re a caregiver seeking help with caregiving, simply call toll-free to (800) 445-8106 to get assistance.

2. Adult Day Care Centers

If you are looking to delay or prevent institutionalization of a loved one and avoid or minimize the expense of a nursing home or any other long-term care options, then finding an adult day care center may be a wonderful option worthy of your consideration! There are basically two types of adult day care: adult social day care and adult day health care.

Case Study:

In large cities like metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, adult day care centers are fairly plentiful. However, you may come to discover that all adult day care centers are not alike. Unfortunately, you may be forced to use the trial and error method of finding a good fit for your care recipient or loved one, depending on their specific needs.

Because I was personally unaware of the two basic types of adult day care centers, I mistakenly enrolled my own mother in a social adult day care center and wasted nearly two years, because she was never really able to successfully make the social connection with other members that I was hoping she would.

So, after conducting a bit more research, I learned about an adult day health care center in my area that was a much better fit. Due to the fact that an eldercare nurse was a member of the staff, it was much easier for my own mother to make a successful social connection with other members. 

To find out more about centers where you live, contact your local aging information and assistance provider or Area Agency on Aging (AAA). For help connecting to these agencies, contact the Eldercare Locator toll-free at (800) 677-1116 or visit their website at https://eldercare.acl.gov.

The National Adult Day Services Association is a good source for general information about adult day care centers, programs, and associations. Call toll-free at (877) 745-1440 or visit http://www.nadsa.org.

3. Why You Should Join or Create a Caregivers Club

When it comes to summing up the virtues of teamwork, Henry Ford ~ the American industrialist, business magnate, and founder of the Ford Motor Company ~ may have stated it best:

“Coming together is a beginning; 

keeping together is a process; 

working together is success.”

Having access to a club, whether it’s established on a formal or an informal basis, can facilitate access to the following known benefits usually found in teamwork:

  • A way to meet new people that share a common interest.
  • You may actually learn new skills that can be used in other areas of your life.
  • Due to the interdependency nature of being a club member, you tend to get more proficient at time management.
  • Successfully working with others tends to increase your own self confidence.

Ultimately, being a member of a club tends to make it so much easier to focus on the group’s purpose. Plus, depending on the optimum size of your club, there tends to be strength in numbers whenever you establish targeted benefits. For example, if you were to have regular meetings at a local restaurant conference area, it should be simple to negotiate a reasonable discount to club members for their regular patronage.

Moreover, networking with other club members on a regular and consistent basis can open up new avenues to some of the newer fundraising vehicles such as crowdfunding. In addition to time constraints, emotional and/or physical stress, lack of privacy, being apprehensive about asking for help, and more, I personally learned the hard way that dealing with financial strain is one of the common challenges faced by caregivers.

In my own efforts to relieve some of the financial strain that my own mother experienced from a significant loss of income and the addition of subsequently high medical bills, I found that establishing a personal crowdfunding campaign using the Facebook social media platform was the most viable option for her needs. But, by creating or joining a caregivers club, you may discover other more suitable options fundraising, because eligibility, coverage, and rules vary from state to state.

For example, some programs pay for family caregiving but exclude spouses and legal guardians. And other programs will pay care providers only if they do not live in the same residence. Plus, Medicaid benefits that pay family caregivers will be dependent upon the Medicaid program under which your care recipient is enrolled.

In any case, the following are a few options worth your consideration if fundraising is one of the challenges you are facing or that you anticipate:

Finally, being a member of a caregivers club can go beyond the topic of being a family caregiver, as focused on in this respective article. A caregivers club member can learn and refine some of the best traits of successful caregiving in a hopefully fun and structured environment. Learning how to cultivate qualities like patience, compassion, dependability, trustworthiness, attentiveness, empathy, and more can not only help you to become a successful caregiver, but also a much better human being in general.

Thank you Leamon Hood Jr for contributing this article.

Guest Articles Written for Caregiverology

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