Caregivers provide endless services for their loved ones struggling with illness, especially when it comes to those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Unfortunately, many primary caregivers do not have the support they need to maintain their own health and well-being while they care for another.
The bottom line: Caregiver support is essential.
Kensington Park Senior Living and Hilarity for Charity (HFC) understand the unique needs of caregivers.That’s why these two organizations recently partnered to present CareCon, a free virtual event meant to educate and inspire caregivers.
Learn more about this event, and why it is so important for caregivers to have access to the right support.
CareCon: Caregiver Support to Educate and Empower
CareCon was designed to educate, empower, and inspire caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia by providing knowledge and support.
The event featured panel conversations and expert-led workshops that nurtured new connections and introduced resources to caregivers.
Panel conversations included topics on caring for caregivers and brain health, while the workshops included many ways to reduce stress and steps to managing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
CareCon’s purpose was to celebrate caregivers and their unique journeys.
Hilarity for Charity’s Mission: Family Caregiver Support and Research Leaders
HFC is a nonprofit organization with a mission to care for families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease today. They aim to activate the next generation of Alzheimer’s advocates, and be a leader in brain health research and education.
Actors Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen founded HFC. Lauren Miller Rogen hosted the CareCon event.
Why Caregiver Support is Important
It is common for caregivers to put the needs of their loved one above their own basic needs.
This is especially true when their loved one needs a high level of support, such as those suffering from memory loss.
However, consistently putting your loved one’s needs above your own can quickly lead to overwhelming amounts of stress, anxiety, and even an illness of your own.
When we are not addressing our own basic needs for food, rest, exercise, and social activity, we run the risk of developing caregiver burnout.
This state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion can occur when a primary caregiver is trying to do more than they physically or financially are able to do.
Signs of Caregiver Burnout
If you notice the following signs of caregiver burnout, it is time to take a step back and seek some support for yourself.
Watch for these signs:
- Withdrawing from loved ones
- Feeling irritable or hopeless
- Losing interest in favorite activities
- Sleep issues and exhaustion
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Getting sick more often
As the saying goes, “you cannot pour from an empty cup.” Refusing help for yourself if you are feeling drained, frustrated, or sick can put both you and your loved one at risk.
Building proper support for yourself can help prevent burnout, and help you navigate the daily stressors of caregiving with greater ease.
How Caregiver Support Provides Strength and Relief
Finding a support group or building the right social supports in your life can inspire and uplift you when you are feeling discouraged. It can provide a source of energy, joy and renewed strength.
When you are able to speak with others going through similar situations as you are, who can offer a shoulder, an ear or helpful advice, it can change your life.
Remember, finding a support group can look different to everyone based on your unique needs.
Whether you have access to an in-person, virtual or online support group, any level of support can be beneficial.
A Source of Acceptance and Safety
Being a caregiver can sometimes be a lonely experience.
It can be difficult to want to share your most complicated thoughts and struggles with those close to you, especially if they are not caregivers themselves.
When you participate in a caregiver support group, you will be among others who understand your unique situation intimately.
They understand the struggles, confusion, sadness, and complicated thoughts and emotions.
You will be in a safe and confidential space free of judgment, which in turn can provide strength and confidence in yourself and your ability to provide care.
A Place to Receive Advice and Encouragement
Caregiver support groups can also be a great source of advice.
This can include tips, product recommendations, or recommendations for trusted health care professionals or senior living communities.
Providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can bring many unique challenges of its own, which is why it can be helpful to find a group for this specific type of care.
A Way to Improve Mental Health
Those who regularly attend caregiver support groups are less likely to experience burnout and are more likely to have better overall mental health.
Caregiving can be a source of both joy and difficulty. This is something other caregivers understand well.
Being a part of a caregiver group can help you feel understood and supported, which makes an impact on a person’s mental health.
With your group, you can discuss all sides of caregiving, and leave feeling uplifted and encouraged.
Kensington Park Senior Living Supports Caregivers
Kensington Park Senior Living is an independent living, assisted living, and memory care community that is committed to not only improving the quality of life of our residents but also the caregivers who love them.
CareCon is just one example of the types of events and content we offer to caregivers to deliver information and resources to uplift caregivers, preserve energy and reduce stressors.
Kensington Park’s Promise: To Love and Care for Your Family
At Kensington Park, Our Promise to love and care for your family as we do our own drives every aspect of our care.
We take the assisted living model of care to a higher level, offering everything from independent living to assisted living and enhanced care.
We are able to offer a full spectrum of clinical support to residents, which means true “aging in place.”
No matter how your loved one’s care needs advance over time, they have a safe home with us.
We also offer:
- Gourmet dining with flavorful, nutritious meals
- Rehabilitation services to achieve optimal independence
- A packed calendar of life enrichment activities
- Services to address social, emotional, and spiritual wellness
If you are a caregiver or loved one considering moving your loved one to an independent living and assisted living community, reach out to our team.
We are ready to provide a listening ear to hear your concerns and support you in whatever ways you need.