Caregivers – Get Thee to a Conference!

Caregiving for aging or ill friends and family has begun to receive the attention it deserves as a “field of study.”   However, caregivers are not “fields of study” and have needs that they often will  ignore their own needs or delay addressing them because they are overwhelmed with other tasks at hand and often feel unable to ask for help.  These delays can result in greater consequences, which is a shame.

If you are a caregiver or know a caregiver, assume that they could use help and make an offer.  The offer cannot be “call me if you need anything.”  The offer should be definite and come with a date/time:

1.  I’m bringing a casserole over Thursday for dinner.  It will be ready to eat or to freeze for later.

2.  I’m available Saturday and Sunday afternoons to run errands or stay with him/her so that you can have some time to yourself.   I know I don’t have to do it, but I’m coming anyway, even if it’s just for you and I to chat.

3.  I saw a caregiving conference that is coming up.  Here’s the flyer – if you attend, I’ll stay with him/her while you are there or will coordinate coverage while you are out.

Conferences are a great way for caregivers to get information that they need and to interact with other people who are facing some of the same emotional, financial, physical, medical and logistical issues.  If you are a caregiver – get to conferences, seminars, and other educational and support opportunities.  It is a great use of a caregiver’s valuable time.

If you are a friend to a caregiver, look for caregiver resources and provide them to your caregiving friend or family member.  Caregivers often do not have the time or energy to “help themselves” – and it is something you can do for them!   For example, upcoming and cheap Conferences  (2011 Family Caregivers Conference final (1)  and 2011 Annual Conference )  are coming up in the metro-Atlanta area.  Similar events occur throughout the nation.

Help a Caregiver Help Themselves!  Provide them with time to invest in themselves.

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