If you have recently become the caregiver of a disabled individual, whether through an accident or through the aging of family members, you might be feeling overwhelmed. You might be unsure where to turn to for support. It can be a scary and lonely time as you try to figure out the best durable medical equipment to care for your family member, finance the changes they need to manage life with their new limits, and deal with the emotional weight of caring for someone who can no longer care for themselves.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, know that you are not alone. There are many organizations around that can help. Most are just a mouse click away.
Ask your healthcare providers about local support groups available in your area. Many hospitals and churches have gatherings for individuals who are struggling with difficult times in their lives. Your therapists and family doctor can connect you with local support groups that you can attend in-person to meet others who are struggling as you are. This can be a great way to make friends with other caregivers and to learn about the best resources in your area. There may be an amazing local respite care center that your new circle of support can direct you to. They also will know what businesses and restaurants are disability friendly and other information specific to where you live.
Sometimes your local library and your community services will also have this information. If you are looking for local support, those are the first places to call.
There are many online groups where you can meet with other caregivers of the disabled. They can share tips and tricks on finding great care, choosing durable medical equipment that meets your loved one’s needs, and giving you support as you adjust to your role. Some organizations are broadly focused while some are for people with of specific conditions. Here are a few places where you can get information and support online:
The Family Caregiver Alliance – This site offers support for anyone in a family caregiver role regardless of that family member’s disability.
ARCH National Respite Network – This is a group that can help you locate respite care in your area. Everyone needs a break sometimes and this group can help you find respite care you can feel confident in whether you need that care for a disabled child or an elderly parent.
AARP – This organization is all about helping seniors live their best lives but they also have information and support for caregivers of those seniors.
VA Caregiver Support – If you are caring for a veteran, some of their needs may be different than those of civilians. VA Caregiver Support can offer help and information specific to caregivers of veterans whether it is navigating the VA system or dealing with service-related health conditions and injuries.
Well Spouse Association – The Well Spouse Association offers help and support for those who are the caregiver to their spouse. Most of us promise in our wedding vows that we will be there in sickness and in health but wanting to be there and knowing how to help our partners and be their advocate can take practice and support.
The above organizations are general places caregivers can turn to for support. Your medical team will be able to point you in the direction for condition-specific support. If you are on social media networks such as Facebook, you can search in the group box for support groups specific to your loved one’s conditions.
There are resources out there and usually, once you find one, they will lead you to many others.
If you live in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island and would like information on durable medical equipment call (508) 802-4259 to speak to an expert at Lift and Care Systems. We will be happy to assist you in finding the perfect home medical equipment to meet your loved one’s needs.