Help for Solo Caregivers

Many caregivers don’t receive family support. Here are 3 tactics from Happy Healthy Caregiver, for decision-making and day-to-day caregiving.

Caregiver stress and burden

What it Might Be Like for a Solo Caregiver

Many caregivers don’t receive family support. They may be an only child or have siblings that don’t help with caregiving responsibilities. How would this feel? I’m not coming up with many advantages except for fewer opinions for decision-making and day-to-day caregiving.

The disadvantages of being a sole caregiver seem more prominent. Most likely, there is little to no flexibility to drop everything and live spontaneously. The compounded stress and anxiety of solo decision-making appear overwhelming and emotionally exhausting. The potential financial challenges weigh heavier. Do they have people to vent to that 100% understand the parental personalities and history?

With the care responsibilities being single-threaded, the fear of how our loved ones will be cared for if something happens to us magnifies. I imagine one of the worst parts would also be the deep loneliness after losing a loved one.

Solo No More - 11 Tactics to Try

Here are 3 of the 11 tactics from Happy Healthy Caregiver. Click here to read the full article.

1. Reach beyond immediate family

While the immediate family is the apparent source of help, it’s not the only place. Get creative about who can play a supporting role on your care team. Assess your situation and identify the sources of your limitations and frustrations. Make a list of these tasks and activities. Who do you know in your network that could potentially assist? 

Recognize their strength in this area and be specific with your request for help. 

Long-distance friends and extended family also have roles they can assume on the care team.

2. Encourage your care recipient to help

Just because your care recipient may want the help doesn’t mean they need it. Tasks may frustrate them and take longer, but they must continue to do what they can for as long as they can. 

Participating in these activities of daily living will provide them value, physical activity, and mental stimulation - all essential things to maintain their quality of life.

3. Contact a local elder law attorney

A local elder law attorney knows what state and local services and providers are available to you. They know what documents are essential to have on hand and how to navigate through the red tape and loopholes.

To find a local elder law attorney, visit the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

If your care recipient isn’t an older adult, contact the organization(s) affiliated with their condition (e.g., Alzheimer’s Association) or ask your local health providers for professional contacts.

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