Many people, at some point in their life, will be responsible for providing caregiving to a family member due to aging, injury or illness. The role of caregiver often comes on suddenly with dramatic changes and many challenges.
Military OneSource has your back in finding available help and services. Visiting Military OneSource – Caregiver Support Resources can help you or someone you know get started. In addition to utilizing the resources above, comfort and support may be found in your local church or community support groups if they are available in your area.
Taking time for yourself and being able to navigate emotions and feelings is important when you are in the role of caregiver. The following topics are taken from the curriculum I developed for a familial caregiver’s support group and have been used as journal prompts. While it may seem simplistic to write about such heavy topics, people have reported it has been helpful — it acts as a container for your thoughts, feelings and emotions.
- Your relationship to the care recipient and/or other family members
- How have things changed?
- What is the most difficult aspect?
- How have you been dealing with these changes?
- Normalizing feelings of depression, anger, loneliness, etc.
- How are you managing loneliness and/or depression?
- What are you outlets for anger?
- What types of things might you find helpful?
- Asking for, accepting, giving and refusing help
- Who do you ask, when, and why you should ask for help?
- How can your military family be supportive?
- Relationship changes
- How has your relationship changed?
- What have you learned about yourself in the relationship through this experience?
- Changes in social support
- Who are your social supporters?
- How do you feel about socializing and the ability/lack of ability to socialize?
- Who do you think can understand your experience?
Being a caregiver is a life-changing role. Seeking support, creating a plan, recognizing and understanding the changes, and caring for yourself can help you to manage. Your military community is here to help.