Each day caregivers are confronted with thousands of tasks. It can feel overwhelming. It is stressful. As a caregiver in Canada related in a recent article in CBC News, “You’re constantly strategizing and planning just to make life happen.” And in all the planning and juggling, caregivers often forget or do not make time to take care of themselves.
The responsibility of caring for a relative or friend can completely overwhelm a caregiver’s life. Caregivers often must quit their paying jobs or reduce their hours. They increasingly do not feel they have time to socialize or spend with friends.
As this happens, caregivers can become closed off or socially isolated and begin to feel deep feelings of loneliness. And social isolation and loneliness are serious health risks. Researchers have linked social isolation or loneliness to increased risk of heart disease, depression, and developing eating disorders.
But here in Washoe County, there is a growing network of support and resources for caregivers. WashoeCaregivers.org highlights that network and acts as a central location to find resources. Utilizing the site and the many organizational partners it provides has the potential to ease the burden of caregiving, while giving caregivers needed time for socializing and taking care of their own mental health.
If you or someone you know is a Caregiver in need of support, check out the “Community Resources” section of WashoeCaregivers.org. Here are three examples of organizations/programs you can find on the site:
- Seniors in Service is a local nonprofit organization that provides two programs that can be utilized to provide support to caregivers. Their Respite Voucher Program provides a grant-funded respite voucher to live-in caregivers who need a break and their Senior Companion Program can support caregivers by providing volunteers that provide basic social support to seniors (support can include activities such as taking clients to medical appointments or playing games).
- The Neighbor Network of Northern Nevada (N4) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that aims to link people living in Northern Nevada to each other and to valuable resources by providing a time exchange. N4 is a “village” or network of community members that assist each other with services including house cleaning, medical appointment transportation, and lawncare through a Time Bank volunteer system.
- Washoe County Senior Services provides Adult Day Services. According to their site, Adult Day Services are designed to provide social and health services to adults who need supervision and supportive care outside of the home and offer respite for caregivers from caregiving demands.
Neighbor Network of Northern Nevada