Community is an important aspect of life, and being in a good community means having support and love whenever you need it most. As a caregiver, community support can greatly help you as you go along your journey with friends, family and support circles who are always there for you. Hence, it is important that you take the steps to build and maintain positive social connections with others during your caregiving journey.

You don’t have to do this alone

Even if you wanted to go through the struggles and challenges of caregiving all by yourself, you would probably tire out and find it tough to keep going. Sharing your caregiving responsibilities isn’t selfish - it’s crucial to ensuring that you can continue to care for your loved one well without burning out sooner than you’d like. Reaching out to your friends, family and other support circles can allow you to take some time to rest and relax amidst the tiring day-to-day responsibilities. At the end of the day, remember that you can and should get support from others as you’ll be able to care for your loved one better when you’re well-rested yourself.

The benefits of reaching out to friends and family

Journeying with your friends and family by your side can make a world of a difference. Reaching out allows you to have people you can share your challenges with and have a conversation with whenever you need someone to talk to. You’ll know you have people to count on when you need support, advice or maybe just a little encouragement. These relationships also provide you with much-needed emotional, mental and informational support to aid you along your journey and even help you grow as a caregiver.

Finding the right support through support groups

Support groups provide a safe and comfortable environment for caregivers to share their struggles and feelings, as well as find emotional and moral support from fellow caregivers who are on similar journeys. They can provide a great source of support, encouragement and guidance to caregivers. Through the sharing of experiences, stories and tips, you can expect to learn new ways on how you can be a better caregiver and how you can cope with some of the common challenges and struggles. Most importantly, support groups allow you to be part of a community that understands and relates to your journey, giving you a sense of belonging and reminding you that you are certainly not alone. Here’s a little more about support groups.

Sharing about your challenges with others

Sharing your story with others might not be the easiest task. Maybe you’re afraid of how they will react, or that they won’t understand your situation.

Here are some tips that can help you start a conversation with your friends and family and get them to support you on your journey.

Write down what you wish to say

Preparing what you want to say and noting it down can help you tremendously. It allows you to feel less nervous and uncertain about the things you want to share when you reach out to that someone. If writing seems too formal, you can also practise how to start the conversation in your head beforehand.

Drop them a text if you’re afraid to tell them in person

Sending someone a message about how you’re feeling or what you’re going through is a simple way to share your situation. It also helps that you are able to take some time to put the words together before you reach out to them.

Expect that it might get a little awkward but that’s totally normal

Whether it’s because you struggle to get the message across or the other person is unsure how to react best, it’s perfectly normal that things might seem awkward at first when you are reaching out to someone. So don’t be discouraged and trust that your friends and family are willing to listen and offer support, though they might act differently at first.

Let them know how they can support you

Sharing your struggles is a way of seeking support and encouragement from those around you. To make it easier for them to know how they can help you along your journey, you can share about how exactly they can offer support in those times you need it most. This is important and beneficial, and it also helps you feel assured that there are people around you who can and will support you.​​