Caregivers, Get Support Before You Feel Like You Need It
Last updated: September 2023
When my mom was living with Alzheimer's, I never reached out for help or support from anyone. I never went to a therapist or looked for a support group. I never talked to my friends or family members about what I was going through. I isolated myself instead.
The support I didn't know I needed
I convinced myself that I was okay. I convinced myself that I didn't need anyone's help or support. I was really stubborn, and I was actually proud of the fact that I didn't need help. I was proud that I was strong enough to handle it on my own.
They made me realize that I wasn't alone after all. There were other people out there who were going through what I was going through and knew exactly how I felt.
Caregiving doesn't need to be a solo gig
I wish I had reached out for help and support much earlier on. Looking back, I can see that I struggled unnecessarily for far too long. I never reached out for support because I felt like I didn't really need it. I had convinced myself that I could do it alone.
I failed to realize that there was no prize for doing it alone. There was no reward for being strong enough not to need anyone's help. And I never received a medal for suffering in silence for all those years.
This or That
Have you sought professional therapy to assist in coping with your caregiving role?
My best advice, seek support
My best advice to other caregivers is to seek help and support before you feel like you need it even if you feel like it won't help or you can do it all on your own, having a little extra support can't hurt.
You may be struggling unnecessarily or making things harder on yourself. Sometimes you don't realize how badly you need support because you're so used to doing without it. Once you get the support you need, you might be surprised at what a difference it makes.
Feeling less alone
So, even if you feel like you don't need support, I encourage you to research online support groups or forums for people caring for someone with Alzheimer's. You will be able to connect with other people going through the same thing, making you feel less alone.
If you are really struggling, try finding a therapist with experience working with caregivers. They will help you process and find ways to cope with what you're going through.
The importance of self-care
Please don't wait until it's too late to find support. You don't have to reach caregiver burnout or depression to get help. It's much better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to your mental health and emotional well-being. You might wonder how you got by without it for so long.
Who do you turn to support?
Have you or your loved one been diagnosed with Mild cognitive impairment?