In the Seniorly Conversations series, Seniorly talks with Christina Irving, a social worker at Family Caregiver Alliance. FCA is a non-profit organization that serves as the public voice for family caregivers, both locally in San Francisco and nationally.
Family Caregiver Alliance provides “online educational materials in terms of fact sheets, videos, and online support groups" which are invaluable to family caregivers and their families. "We tend to think that caregivers need three things to really support themselves in their journey," said Irving. And she was kind enough to share her expertise with the Seniorly community.
Here are the three things family caregivers need in terms of support:
- About medical conditions
- About the particular disease process (from doctors, organizations, FCA, etc.)
- About the caregiving role
- For example, time off in the form of short-term stays in care communities.
- For example, emotional support from friends, professionals, or the community.
Caregiving is a tough role, and many in this role tend to overlook personal needs to care for others. They are selfless and brave, but as a result they can quickly become exhaused and start experiencing symptoms of what we refer to as caregiver burnout. According to Irving, “Caregiving is not just about taking care of your loved one, but it’s about finding those ways to care for yourself, despite how challenging that can be. FCA is here to help you find those resources and support services so that you are able to care for yourself, in addition to providing that very important care that you give to your loved ones.”
We were honored by the opportunity to speak with Family Caregiver Alliance, and grateful for the information Christina Irving shared about supporting those who care for aging loved ones. For more information on how to support a family caregiver in their role, visit the Seniorly Resource Center and search for the topics that matter to you.
For more information about short-term respite stays to help family caregivers, contact Seniorly, your go-to resource for information on short-term stays. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (415) 570-4370 to speak with our gerontologist today!