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Developing A Social Network For A Caregiver

Dec 7, 2007
Often when a person becomes a caregiver, it is a role that consumes them and they begin to shut themselves off from the rest of the world. They begin canceling dates and events with other friends and family members. Not only does this cause hard feelings for those that are feeling rejected, but it is not healthy for a caregiver to become only a caregiver. It is important to realize that while you are now a caregiver you still need your own support system.

There is more to a support system than just your friends and family though. A great support system begins with building a diverse social network to call on in times of need. Social networks start in your community with your church, civic groups and other activities and clubs where people engage in normal life activities. Support groups for caregivers are another great place to converse with others since everyone in attendance is, or has experienced what you are going through. Networks keep people grounded in their everyday life and focused on the next phase that life has to offer you.

Start with Your Church

Regardless if you are a regular Sunday attendee or not, your community church is one of the best places for you to get support and start building your social network outside of regular friends and family. Churches offer more than just Sunday school and Sunday service. They have weekly prayer meetings and often they plan activities outside of the church. You will find a lot of support while at the same time meeting new friends just by attending your community church. The Pastor is there to offer you his ear if you just need to talk.

Take Time for Yourself

No one ever said caregiving was easy, it is a stressful job for anyone to undertake. Often caregivers do not take time to do the things they once enjoyed and begin to ignore their family and friends that were once a big part of their lives. By keeping your social network of friends you may be able to better avoid the depression and guilt that caregivers often feel. Your social network of friends will help lift your spirits on days that you are 'feeling down', and whisk you off for a shopping excursion or a movie when they see you need a break.

Don't Push Away Family and Friends

Caretaking is not something you have to take on solely on your own. Just because you are now responsible for the adult care of another doesn't mean you can't still do the regular activities you once did. Yes, your life will change, but that doesn't mean shutting yourself off from everything and everyone that is familiar to you. This is the time when you are going to need the most support. Your family can help in the caretaking if you need a break or want to take a holiday.

Join a Club

Do you have a passion for reading and have always wanted to join a book club? Now is the time to do it. Some book clubs meet once a month, while others meet weekly and discuss a book chapter by chapter. This is a great way to get you out of your caregiving role for a short time and socializing with a new group of people. There are many different types of book clubs to join. You can find a book club that interests you by checking with your local community center or they may be advertised in your local community newsletter.
About the Author
For more information about a caregiver intercom system go to IntercomsOnline.com. Also read their article titled:Wireless Intercom for Elderly or Disabled
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