I suspect the majority of parents with school-aged children across the province are silently cheering about the start of the school year. Yes, I am one of those parents. My daughter is going into Grade 5 and although we’ve had a marvellous summer filled with many amazing adventures, it will be nice to get back to our routine.
This week she and I have talked a lot about learning. On second thought, I should rephrase this. I’ve been talking a lot about the importance of learning. Her response: “But what about all the homework and I’m going to die if I’m not in the same class as my friends!”
Going back to school isn’t dissimilar to caregiving. Caregivers may feel they are “in school” when faced with new and changing situations with their role. Most learn on the go. Caregiving roles are very broad and can include providing personal care (e.g., bathing), helping with medical treatments, providing emotional support, managing finances, scheduling and coordinating appointments, household work (e.g., meal preparation, cleaning, laundry), house maintenance, outdoor work, and providing transportation.
We rarely have all the answers and sometimes it means asking others to help us. Other times we need information and skills to increase our knowledge or problem-solve. Trends in research on caregiving interventions such as education and support groups show that when knowledge about a disease is increased, caregivers tend to feel more prepared and more informed. However, education alone doesn’t necessarily positively affect their caregiving experience. Caregiver support groups typically provide participants with hands on knowledge and can increase satisfaction with their role and reduce the risk of feeling alone in their journey.
Here at Family Caregivers of BC, we like to think our organization is a place to remind you that you are not alone in your caregiving experience, to let you know you are on right track, to lend an ear, make some suggestions, help you develop the right skills, help you find information and resources and to give you a little nudge in the right direction.
Starting this month, we’ll be offering free webinars to help you with common caregiving problems.
Please call or email us indicating you’d like to be considered for a 1:1 Caregiver Coaching appointment.
Also, keep an eye out for our upcoming surveys. We’d love to get your feedback and learn more about how we can support family caregivers.