With home care workers in short supply and waiting lists for reputable long-term care facilities, many of the duties of caring for an elderly loved one fall on family members. Caring for seniors is not often a simple undertaking of providing meals, light housekeeping, or help with showering. Complex medical conditions, dementia, and mobility problems can leave informal caregivers feeling ill-prepared to provide the necessary care and overwhelmed by duties at home – perhaps while working or caring for children, with little time for a healthy and balanced lifestyle themselves. Caregiver coaching can help individuals provide quality care while avoiding stress, isolation or burnout, or neglecting their own health and well-being.
Caregiver coaching or consultation can help families coordinate services, solve problems, meet daily challenges, facilitate family meetings and plan ahead for future needs. With the experience and resources of a caregiver consultant, families can make better decisions about caregiving and work through complex issues with help from experienced staff or volunteers. Through education, online resources, support groups and access to respite caregiving, family carers are able to better navigate healthcare, activities of daily living, and emotional well-being.
To access caregiver support, start with your local area agency on aging to find coaching that meets your individual needs. You will likely start with a phone conversation to assess your needs and situation, availability to meet, and personality. Some coaches may be former family caregivers or retired nurses or home care workers. Coaches will be screened with a background check and will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement for the safety and privacy of clients.
Learn more about upcoming virtual caregiver education classes, tips on a variety of caregiving topics, and strategies to maintain well-being as a caregiver by following this link to the Family Caregiver Alliance or by visiting the Caregiver Action Network website.