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Meeting the needs of caregivers

When do caregivers step into the role of advisor to others in the family unit? This is a bit of a conundrum, for a few reasons. First a caregiver has a legal and moral ethic to maintain the confidence of the person they care for. But also, there is the issue for a family caregiver who is the right person to approach.

Caregivers have enough on their plates to deal with, other than this issue. It is sometimes more important to just keep the counsel of the person who is ill. Evaluating the need of whether to pass on information can frequently weigh heavy on caregivers. Sometimes it is better for all concerned for a caregiver to simply keep their own council. Family members frequently are at different places in life when a parent or sibling is in need of a caregiver. This is the time when a paid caregiver has the option of speaking with a peer or supervisor. However, when a family member where do you turn?

There are some places to turn for guidance and well-meaning advice. A family member (caregiver) can turn to attendees in a support group or clergy or a trusted friend from outside the family. Adult children frequently find it is so overwhelming to be in the caregiving role; they must lean on someone. It is most important the person who will be counsel should not be the kind to talk to other family members or friends. This is when the professional and caring manner becomes the talk of the neighborhood.

Support groups are generally set up with the understanding that no information will be passed out side of the group meeting; this can be a safety net for caregiver’s. There is so many instructions and emotions wrapped up in caregiver, it is a very strong person who can accomplish this kind of role for any length of time. If you are a caregiver and want to attend a support group, look at your local hospital, or library for information. There is also information in many communities by telephone #211. Ask your doctor or the receptionist in your doctor’s office. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting involved with such a group. This is just plain good self-care.

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