HI Clearwater and Kari. Clearwater - Thank you for your question and your courage to ask it! This is a common question we encounter in our caregiver support calls. Relationships are tricky at the best of times! When someone is not feeling well and/or is living with a chronic condition, and family and friends who support their care are stretching themselves, emotions can be particularly challenging. This is such a common theme that we have brought some of our key resources together under the heading of the Emotional Side of Caregiving in our tops tips and tools. A good companion to consider the ways to work with strong emotion are Communication Skills to share and express yourself skillfully with the person you care for (and the health care team – when those situations arise!).
Also, I refer back to the webinar on Boundaries that I mentioned to Doug a few questions back. Knowing where your limits are and setting your boundaries with the personal you care for can help.. Our Caregiver Support staff also welcome you to call our line (1-877-520-3267) if you think this may help - to talk it through with someone. We are here to offer emotional support.
@KariP47 Right?! It's so hard.
@Clearwater Same situation for me.
My mom has had serious pain for years and is so hard to deal with. I'm trying my best to support her but she's always irritable and negative. I know that it's the pain that is making her this way, but it's makes me not want to be around her. How do I help her when I kinda don't want to be in the same room as her? Help!
Family Caregivers of BC (FCBC) offers generalist caregiver support. Meaning, while there are specific aspects of your role that might be unique to caring for someone with pain, our resources cross common themes that caregivers may relate to regardless of the disease process. Check out our `top tips and tools for caregivers’ where you can review resources based on your caregiving situation and current need. The topics here include: ‘Health Care Navigation’, ’Communication’, ‘Financial Information’, ‘Technology’, and much more. We will discuss these various themes more as we address the questions here.
We also refer people to various organization that can help them consider their approach to care from a disease specific lens. For example, we would refer people to Pain BC for additional support (here is one of their brochures Chronic Pain Hurts Everyone: Support for Friends and Family), and Self-Management BC (among their programs is a Chronic Pain Self-Management Program that family and friend caregivers are welcome to attend). These groups have expertise in supporting people who are living with pain and their carers.
Here's another question we received in advance from someone unable to attend the live session: "Are there any tools or resources that can help me learn how to better support someone with pain?"
@DougPG Sure - and also I just hyperlinked to a short article on the on-line technology aids, if that is of interest.
@Family-Caregivers-of-BC Thanks. That's helpful.
Hi Doug - Yes! Caregiving can be very demanding on one’s time. Here are a few ideas to consider how to maintain balance across competing demands:
Knowing and setting your boundaries is important so that you may continue providing care and support while not losing track of yourself and your needs. Our webinar ‘Where to draw the line: Boundary Setting for Caregivers’ discusses this topic in detail.
Consider how to ask for help and develop a community of support so that you are not caring alone. To explore ways to do this you can view our ‘Building a Gold Medal Network for Support’ webinar. On-line technological aids can also make asking for and coordinating help easier for you and your support network.
To access the webinars and other resources mentioned in this forum go here.
I have a lot of other responsibilities in my life in addition to being a caregiver. How can I be an effective caregiver while managing other responsibilities?
This is an excellent question. Thank you for getting us started with this one.
‘Good’ is self defined and does not mean ONE thing. What is important to you? And to the person you care for? Some points to consider as you think about your role as a caregiver are:
Are the needs of the person you are caring for met? And how are these needs being met? (see next point)
We believe that your well-being is foundational to sustaining a caregiving role. Sometimes caregivers feel they need to do it all – to meet all the needs of the person they are caring for. In this way, caregivers are often going above and beyond in their roles, to the detriment of their own health. What do you need to support your health and well-being? We’ll discuss this further as we go on.
The research is clear that caregivers are often very hard on themselves. We invite caregivers to view our self compassion webinar and handouts to explore how to be kind with themselves and be aware of self-judgement that arises in the midst of the very challenging roles they are in.
For more on the history of our organization there is an article in our Summer Edition of our newsletter the Caregiver Connection. If interested you are welcome to join our mailing list, it is a good way to stay connected after the forum. (https://www.familycaregiversbc.ca/caregiver-connection/)
Fantastic - thanks so much for sharing these introductions and resources. To get us started, we received a question in advance from a community member who was unable to attend the live session. They asked: "how do I know if i'm being a good caregiver?"
Hello everyone. I am Lacie and with my colleague Whitney - we are here to respond to your questions today.
We at Family Caregivers of BC (FCBC) are grateful for this opportunity with Pain BC to speak with caregivers in their community! FCBC is celebrating our 30th year supporting family and friends who provide unpaid care to an adult, either at home or in a facility, who has a physical or mental health condition, chronic illness or frailty due to aging. We are 100% dedicated to the well-being of caregivers.
Some of your questions arrived, in advance, and we had the opportunity as a team to discuss them together. Here are the names of our team members who helped consider your questions - you can read more about our team here:
• Barb MacLean – Executive Director
• Janet McLean – Education and Engagement Lead
• Whitney McMillan – Provincial Project Lead
• and Lacie White – Caregiver Support and Engagement Lead (I am drawing our team perspectives together to share with you here today).
We hope that our responses offer some helpful direction for caregivers. We also would like you to know that caregivers are welcome to call our Caregiver Support Line – 1—877-520-3267 (Monday to Friday, 8:30-4:00) to talk through your unique caregiving situation. The three areas of support that we offer through our 1:1 support and our resource hub on our website are:
Hi everyone and thanks again for joining us for this live Ask the Expert forum chat on caregiving. We're joined today by Family Caregivers of BC, a non-profit organization leading the efforts to provide support, information, and education to caregivers across the province. To get started, Lacie, can I kindly ask you to introduce Family Caregivers of BC and the team members who are joining us today?
Hi everyone, thanks for joining us today for our live Ask the Expert forum chat on caregiving. We'll get started in 10 minutes.