Local council offers support groups for stressed caregivers

Lisa Wurth

April 1, 2011

Catherine Van Sickle, the director of the Cumberland County Coordinating Council on Older Adults, knows that the stress that many caregivers face can sometimes seem like too much for one person to bear, according to The Fay Observer.

She believes that it may even be linked to the rise of elder abuse cases in the United States, because families are becoming so overwhelmed that they start to treat older adults poorly. Relationships, employment and finances can all be affected by these responsibilities.

Van Sickle thinks that the key is to find a support group who can listen to a caregiver and acknowledge his or her situation.

Support group leader Ellouise Garvin, who runs the group, agrees.

"People find out they're not the only ones in the situation," she told the publication.

Another way to help reduce stress is to install a personal emergency response system in a senior's home. This device enables older adults to instantly send a medical alert, so caregivers may not have to check on their health as often.

Those who become too intent on aiding a senior can sometimes forget about the importance of looking after their own health. Try talking to friends and family about the problem and see if they can lend assistance.