Pamela D Wilson Caregiving Online Support Groups and Courses
Online support groups and courses for aging adults and family caregivers help relieve stress and anxiety that results from caregiving and offer other positive benefits. One in four persons in the United States is a caregiver. The majority of caregivers are caregiving for an aging parent or a spouse. Attending support groups and courses in person is difficult for caregivers and aging adults because of limited time and having to drive to a physical location that may not be convenient.
Online support groups and courses for aging adults and family caregivers are convenient solutions. With an Internet connection and a computer, caregiving support and courses are at fingertip reach. There is no need to dress up, find someone to sit with a loved one and drive to a physical support group or course. Pamela’s online support groups and courses make it easy for all to attend.
What Caregivers Want
Caregiving can blow up a well-organized life into many directions. An accident or health emergency of an aging parent or loved one can require immediate and frequent attention. The stress of this unexpected event can feel overwhelming. Feeling confused and experiencing life in a state of commotion becomes a new state of mind for caregivers.
Chaos, drama, and emotional ups and downs necessitate finding a new balance in life between the role of caregiving and the role of an employee, parent to young children, a student, and other roles in life. Becoming a caregiver creates a new list of “wants.” These include
Positive Family Relationships
Caregiving stirs up positive and negative feelings from childhood to the present. When adult children come together to caregive for aging parents, childhood rivalries and “who got what,” are suddenly remembered.
Caregivers want to reduce conflict in the family. Loving relationships are preferable instead of scorched earth drama. There are no perfect families.
Online support groups and courses for aging adults and family members support hoping for the best and identifying ways to navigate through landmines presented by families who don’t get along. Not all family members want to play in the same sandbox for the benefit of a loved one.
Online Support Groups and Courses Deliver Confidence
Confidence is a benefit realized by aging and adults and family caregivers who participate in online support groups and courses. Caregiving involves the component of healthcare. Healthcare literacy in the United States for persons of all ages is low.
Fear exists about knowing what questions to ask healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are rushed and do not explain information in a manner that is easily understood. Mistakes and confusion occur.
Caregivers want the confidence to manage care for loved ones and to make the right decisions. Online support groups for aging adults and family caregivers offer the additional benefit of improving self-esteem and advocacy skills. It is important for all involved in caregiving to know the questions to ask to get results.
The Differences Between Male and Female Caregivers
Online support groups and courses offer a safe place to discuss feelings about caregiving. Men and women approach caregiving differently.
Both men and women are committed to family caregiving. Differences occur when men approach caregiving like a job meaning like tasks completed at work. Men want to fix caregiving situations and manage care.
Caregiving situations usually cannot be “fixed” from the perspective of “fixing” the health of a loved one. At best we can hope for a slight improvement or maintaining a health condition. A fact of aging is that our bodies are not getting younger and it is unlikely our health will improve significantly. Managing and maintaining health is a good goal.
Women as caregivers are the nurturers. It is easier for women than men to talk about emotions and feelings surrounding caregiving. Talking about the emotional and physical stresses of caregiving is important because the stress is real and is damaging to health and well-being.
As caregivers, women also complete more of the hands-on work. Hands-on means help with activities of daily living that include: bathing, managing incontinence, help with dressing, and mobility. Men are less comfortable completing these tasks, but if necessary, will do whatever it takes.
Caregivers Want Better Than Average Care for Loved Ones
Better than average care for loved ones is not an automatic situation. Better care doesn’t happen without effort and advocacy.
Online support groups and courses help aging adults and caregivers learn the secrets that result in better than average care. The ability to understand a health diagnosis and to ask questions of the healthcare system is important. Many times, the questions asked are the key to better than average care for loved ones.
Applying the learning from caring for loved ones is important for caregivers who wish to improve their health to avoid present caregiving situations. The experience and insight gained from caregiving for a loved one are valuable.
Caregivers Want to Take Care of Family and Me
The role of caregiving throws previous plans up in the air. Time management and finding balance become critical. Gaining inner strength from meditation, prayer, reading inspirational books is what will carry us through days when caregiving feels impossible.
Caregivers want more of the good and less of the bad. More joy from caregiving. Less stress, anxiety, and sleepless nights.
Caregiving for aging parents, spouses, and loved ones is work. It is difficult. Those caregiving for persons diagnosed with memory loss have the added experience of responding to behaviors that can be unpredictable and threatening.
Online caregiving support groups and courses help caregivers master negative feelings and provide hope that the seesaw of emotional and physical stress can improve.
Time for me and taking my life back are the dreams of many caregivers. Balancing caregiving and life is possible with caregiving support and taking small steps to involve others in caregiving.
Pamela’s Core Beliefs
More than 20 years of professional and personal caregiving have given me core beliefs that I believe are important in caregiving. These include:
- Older adults deserve care and treatment. There’s no “they’re old; this is what happens.” The medical system can be biased against care. Advocacy and knowledge are solutions.
- Better than average care just doesn’t happen. Better than average care takes consistent effort and being proactive.
- Caregiving responsibility should be 50/50 until . . . a loved one cannot equally participate in care. Supporting independence instead of dependence is important. Build positive family relationships. Don’t burn bridges.
Benefits of Online Support Groups and Courses
The benefits of online support groups and courses are endless and priceless. In all aspects of life, caregiving included, we fare better when we have support and others to help us along the way.
In caregiving and all aspects of life, we “don’t know what we don’t know.” Admitting this and asking for help is the key to having others help. The saying, “if you don’t ask you don’t get,” is true in caregiving.
Advocacy skills are gained through caregiving online support groups and courses. Advocating means that you do whatever it takes to get the result and care for a loved one.
The secret to success is developing a plan and putting systems in place to get what you want. Caregivers and aging adults lacking experience navigating the caregiving and healthcare systems struggle in this area.
If You’re Really Serious about Wanting to Make Caregiving Better, Help is Here
If you are willing to do what it takes, Pamela’s online support groups and courses can help.
If you are tired of battling a caregiving and healthcare system that seems to win, help is here. Tired of family disagreements and conflict? Help is here.
If struggle seems to be a daily event, online caregiving support groups and courses can help you reduce struggle and gain inner strength.
If you want to gain confidence in decision making and learn to manage care, advocate with the healthcare system and coordinate with service providers, help is here.
Pamela Can Help You
Pamela’s one-to-one, on the boots ground experience, with thousands of clients and different situations is valuable. Her experience as a court-appointed guardian, medical and financial power of attorney, personal representative, trustee, and care manager means that she has broad and far-reaching experience.
She understands grief and loss, having lost both parents, a brother and a sister. Pamela brings a down to earth approach to solving caregiving problems and adds humor and laughter so that we can share common experiences.
Take the first step today and sign up for an online caregiving support group or a course.
Pamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, CG, CSA is a national caregiving expert, advocate, and speaker who solves caregiving problems. Since 1999, she has been a direct service provider as a court-appointed guardian, power of attorney, and care manager. In response to the need for accessible, accurate, reliable, and trustworthy information Pamela offers on-line caregiving support and programming to solve caregiving problems, advance healthcare literacy, and promote self-advocacy. She collaborates with professionals in the areas of estate planning, elder law, and probate, financial planning, and healthcare to raise awareness of and sensitivity to family caregiving and healthcare issues.
© 2019 Pamela D. Wilson, All Rights Reserved.