When we hear the word caregiver, we automatically relate it to someone who cares for another person. Although this is true, caregivers are much more than that. Caregivers are people who may have to give up their jobs. Caregivers are people who may have to communicate less with their family and friends. When I hear or think of the word caregiver, I relate it to a person who is strong, compassionate, and wonderful. Caregivers are the key to their loved ones physical and emotional well-being.
As a social worker, I have interacted with many caregivers. What I hear the most is, “Some days are better than other days.” This is a natural feeling. That is why it is important to take everyday and live it day-by-day. The question then is: “How do we live it day-by-day if it seems like it won’t get any easier?” I feel that the best way to learn about anything is to speak to or to hear about someone who has been through or is going through a similar situation.
If you are caring for a loved one who has dementia, you can join a support group. Support groups are a wonderful way of interacting with others who are going through similiar situations.
If you would rather be on the Inernet to find help, there are many sites you can go to. You can join message board discussions, caregiver chats, or receive news letters.
I have included several Caregivers’ Home Pages, along with one home page created by a strong woman diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s that I find extraordinary. They explain their stories as caregivers as well as providing many links to caregiver resources.