This post is Part 2 of a previous post on Resources for Caregivers.
The job of being a Caregiver to a loved one, friend, or family member can be overwhelming. In addition to managing the care of another, the Caregiver is often still working full time in their career. They may also be managing their own household and family members. Becoming a Caregiver means the Caregiver has chosen to add another full time job to the status quo of their life. Most likely their choice to be a Caregiver was made out of love for their patient. However, over time, that love can be pushed to the brink of collapse as more and more tasks get added to the daily events.
Another item that may not even be considered by the Caregiver as a stressor may be lurking in the abyss of daily Caregiving chores. That item is the profound responsibility of the decision making process for all of the health related events in the life of the patient. Over time, the fatigue of Caregiving plus Decision Making can become a source of worry and fear. Did I make the right decision? How will I know if I made the right decision? What if something horrible happens as a result of my decision? Have I unwittingly accepted a role as decision maker without considering the responsibility of this role? The stress of making decision after decision, after decision, is overwhelming in its own right.
When the love of the patient becomes stressed, and fear of making a mistake begins to take over the life of the Caregiver, it is time to seek out additional Resources for assistance on both levels. The catch-22 here is — how does the Caregiver add the new task of seeking out the best resources to their already overloaded to-to list?
In my case, I know I didn’t have time to seek out additional resources. In addition, I was extremely concerned that having additional help in the home ( one potential Resource) would require additional monitoring by me. That monitoring could easily become more challenging than doing the Caregiving tasks myself.
So how does a Caregiver find useful resources for easing their burden? In today’s world the best resource is the Internet. Using it means additional resources can be a mere click of the mouse away. Below this article is a list of Internet resources that are invaluable. These resources include not only finding in-home help, but also extensive means of communicating with other Caregivers. That communication is invaluable because one is learning from other Caregivers. Plus, one does not even have to leave home to have that sense of community with other Caregivers. That’s the biggest reason for using the Internet.
I am also pleased to announce that a new resource has just become available for stroke survivors and their Caregivers. After over two years of research and building, http://www.wohaula.net is now live. Wohaula is a Mandarin word meaning “I have survived”. Through Wohaula’s goal of being the largest compendium of stroke related information in the world, stroke “Survivors Go Social” with their own social network. Membership in the community is free of charge. Take up the opportunity to explore the wealth of information on this site. Go, participate, learn, and add your experiences to the site.
Recommended Online Resources: