Stay Connected with Friends while Caregiving
BY KURT SAPP, ADMINISTRATOR, SEMINOLE SHORES LIVING CENTER, NORTON SHORES
A challenge shared by many caregivers is the loneliness the role often creates. As their loved ones’ need for assistance increases, many people find themselves cut off from friends when they need emotional support more than ever. This situation can easily result in caregiver depression.
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, 40 to 70 percent of caregivers meet the criteria for depression. Of those, 25 percent meet the criteria for major clinical depression. It’s a serious condition that typically requires medical intervention.
Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, we all need more emotional support whether caregiving at home or trying to find creative ways to connect with our loved ones, but from a safe distance.
As a caregiver, how can you stay connected when you aren’t able to leave home very often?
Technology has made it easier to find a solution. Here are a few easy-to-use, inexpensive avenues to explore.
1. Use a video chat service to talk with family and friends. Video chat services aren’t just for keeping in touch with faraway loved ones. For isolated caregivers, they can provide a way to talk face-to-face from across town or the country. FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, GOOGLE Duo, and others allow lonely caregivers to get emotional support, especially on difficult days. Most are easy to access from a smartphone or tablet device.
2. Play games and hang out virtually. During the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, many people sought new ways to spend time virtually with loved ones. Playing games across the miles is possible with the help of apps like Houseparty. Loved ones can challenge each other to games like Chips and Guac, Heads Up!, and Pictionary.
3. Talk via social media channels like Facebook. If you haven’t joined Facebook, now might be time. You can connect with family members through your regular News Feed or set up private groups. Another popular feature is Facebook Live, and it’s not just for businesses. If you can’t leave home, this could be a way to read bedtime stories to the grandkids. You can control and limit who sees your feed, providing you with privacy.
4. Join an online caregiver support group. As the number of family caregivers in the US (currently estimated to be about 40.4 million) continues to climb, avenues for support are growing too. One is online caregiver support groups. They are easier to find than ever before. These groups give caregivers an opportunity to connect with others who understand and share their struggles.
While in-person support groups are an option for some, caregivers who aren’t able to leave a senior loved one alone can join one online. The flexibility and convenience they offer is good for a busy caregiver’s schedule.
Is It Time for a Senior Living Community? When a senior family member’s needs become tough to manage at home, it might be time to consider assisted living or memory care. I’m Here For A Family Member at HeritageSeniorCommunities.com offers resources to help you learn more about each type of care. Or simply call Seminole Shores Assisted Living, (231)780-2944 to learn more today!
Seminole Shores Assisted Living Center, located in Norton Shores, Michigan, gives seniors the opportunity to be independent while knowing that assistance is available to serve them whenever they need it. The center offers housekeeping, laundry, medication management, 24 hour care, three home-cooked meals a day and a full activity and event program. A pet-friendly community, Seminole Shores Assisted Living Center is owned and operated by Heritage Property Management Inc., located in Grand Haven, Michigan. Heritage Property Management Inc. is a family-owned company that operates nine assisted living homes and five independent living homes across the state of Michigan. Learn more at seminoleshoresalc.com and call (231) 780-2944 for a tour.