Caring For Others Is Only Half of A Caregiver’s Role

Caring For Others Is Only Half of A Caregiver’s Role

It is estimated that 736,000 Minnesotans – or 1 in every 6 people in the state – provide regular care to someone who has a health problem, or some form of long-term illness or disability. This is a large number of people throughout Minnesota who pull double duty; taking on the responsibility of caring for someone else, while also needing to care for themselves. And when a loved one is in need of care, whose own needs typically fall to the wayside?

Caregivers tend to stop doing important things to take care of themselves and concentrate their energies on their loved one. In doing so, they put not only their own physical and mental health at risk, but also the life of their care receiver. If a loved one depends on a caregiver who is not caring for him or herself, then neither person is able to live a healthy life.

Part of the difficulty of being a caregiver is finding a balance to care for others and yourself. Many caregivers simply do not know where to begin. Like most unknowns, becoming educated about caregivers’ roles, responsibilities, challenges, and more, can help caregivers feel better prepared to care for others, and themselves.

FamilyMeans offers curriculum geared towards helping caregivers initiate self-care activities, manage emotions, find confidence, and much more. Through a six-week educational series called “Powerful Tools for Caregivers”, FamilyMeans can help caregivers face these new life challenges. The six courses cover:

  • Taking Care of You: How to focus on you, the caregiver, by developing a box of “self-care” tools. 
  • Identifying and Reducing Personal Stress: Learning four steps of stress management, and helping caregivers discover tools that reduce stress. 
  • Communicating Feelings, Needs, and Concerns: Discovering ways to communicate caregivers’ needs more effectively. 
  • Communicating in Challenging Situations: Practicing communication tools to help caregivers address difficult situations, including communicating with a person with memory impairment. 
  • Learning from Our Emotions: Finding ways to identify and deal with difficult feelings as a caregiver, including powerful emotions of anger, guilt, and depression. 
  • Mastering Caregiver Decisions: Building tools to help caregivers with changes, and making tough decisions.

Working with certified caregiver trainers who conduct the course, participants can complete the series with confidence in their new role. Out of our service area? FamilyMeans can help you find similar programs throughout Minnesota.

To get started, contact FamilyMeans today to learn when the next series begins. Call at 651-439-4840, or fill out a form today.