Caring for a special needs child or an elderly adult can be met with fear and uncertainty. After all, when a diagnosis is made or the aging process leaves a parent in need of continual help, an uncharted territory lies ahead for the caregiver.
No person needs to take on the role alone. Resources exist to connect caregivers with a community of other caregivers and organizations that can provide both financial and emotional support.
In fact, make that step number one.
- Find a support system, build your tribe. That can be neighbors, friends, people from your congregation etc. People that understand [to the best of their ability] the situation and may even be a similar one. Take to the internet and seek out local organizations that deal with the same specific issue, talk and share with others.
- Knowledge is power. Ask questions, find out everything you can about the diagnosis. Do your research and stay up to date on the latest treatments etc. for the condition. Being armed with the latest information is empowering.
- Take care of you! The stresses of caring for others nonstop can be overwhelming. Take a break from time to time, ask for help from a trusted family member or friend. Often people around us wish to help, they just need to be told how. Local care agencies are another great resource to explore if you need it.