If you’re a caregiver, you already know it’s hard work and very lonely at times. There are highs and lows and unexpected challenges, and sometimes it can become overwhelming, especially if there’s no one to talk to who understands your position.
Some caregivers juggle a full-time career with their already full-time jobs as a caregiver and therefore have no free time for themselves or anything else. You may wonder if other people are going through the same things with their loved ones — feeling alone, overwhelmed and helpless at times. Sometimes it helps to know there are other people out there experiencing the same emotions.
Social media platforms for caregivers have become popular for these very reasons. These websites encourage caregivers to be a part of an online community and share their personal stories with others to receive support, share tips and advice and feel less alone. Read on for the five best social media platforms for caregivers.
This free-to-use social platform was developed as an online destination for caregivers. Their mission is to connect caregivers to one another, share relevant documentaries, videos and series and generate overall awareness about caregiving.
Stories For Caregivers is a safe place for caregivers to come together and connect with one another through their own personal stories and experiences on their online Inspirations Board. You can share uplifting and powerful stories, articles, images and videos that have the power to change the way other caregivers feel about what they do.
Posts aren’t always heavy or bogged down with emotion — there are entertaining stories about health care and social policies, as well as available resources and community support. These posts have the ability to help caregivers relax and escape the stress of their own lives, while also knowing they are not alone on their journey.
While this kind of human connection can be a great thing, don’t become too dependent on online forums — you can lose sight of who you’re caring for and what you’re there for in the first place. Like most social media, these online escapes can become addicting and end up hurting your relationships more than helping them. Be mindful and use social media platforms in moderation.
The Caregiver Action Network (CAN) provides caregivers with help, support and information, and strives to improve their quality of life. They also push for caregiver recognition and support while building confidence and capability with positive educational programs.
You can connect anonymously with other caregivers free of charge and share advice and encouragement with one another. Share your own story to inspire others, share a list of inspiring speakers or read others’ stories to inspire yourself. Sign up for a monthly newsletter called TakeCare! that provides additional relevant news and tips.
There’s a variety of other helpful resources — a family caregiver toolbox, which contains a wealth of knowledge, links to agencies and organizations and videos that interview other caregivers.
AARP offers a great family caregiving section on their website with a free comprehensive care guide, basic tools and information, tips on caregiving at home and managing a caregiver life balance. Their online community connects caregivers in person and online where you can share your personal stories, ask questions and receive advice from others who understand what you’re going through.
Use their helpful search feature to find helpful resources and solutions. Type in any keyword or key phrase and this feature will offer up articles, videos, upcoming events, workshops, TED Talks, etc.
This online website offers a caregiver forum where you can ask questions about any topic and receive answers and input from other caregivers. There’s also a feature where you can search for specific topics like depression, incontinence, caregiver burnout and more.
If you have advice to offer on one particular topic, you can answer questions and provide your own personal insight to other caregivers. Have a specific question about a topic you may not see? Search the forum with the site’s easy-to-use search feature by typing in keywords.
Aging Care offers a slew of other great resources like an in-home care guide, a caregiver survival guide, tips on hospice care and funeral planning.
Think Caregiver is a program from Hope Grows, a non-profit organization offering phone support, online support and overall caregiver awareness. The virtual care program offers call check-ins that provide caregivers with emotional coaching, resources, and referrals at regular intervals from the Hope Grows support staff. Sign up for weekly self-care suggestions via email and receive consistent encouragement and support.
The main mission of Think Caregiver is to ensure caregivers remain healthy — both mentally and physically — during their journeys.
You’re Not Alone
Being a caregiver is a hard road to travel. There are ups and downs and constant care for your loved one that can take away from your own life. It’s hard for others to understand because they can’t relate to your life. Don’t isolate yourself and subject yourself to anxiety or depression — there is support available.
There are thousands of other caregivers out there who feel what you feel and know what you’re going through. Connect with them online and make it your safe place where you can talk, exchange stories and tips and find support from those who truly understand.