Resources & Support

What Caregivers Wish They Knew Earlier

Caregivers often reflect on their experiences and may wish they knew certain things earlier in their caregiving journey to better navigate the challenges and responsibilities.

Here are 10 common sentiments caregivers express about what they wish they knew earlier:

The Importance of Self-Care
Many caregivers wish they had prioritized their own well-being earlier in their caregiving journey. They may realize the importance of self-care for preventing burnout and maintaining their physical, emotional, and mental health.
Navigating Resources and Support
Caregivers often wish they had known about available resources and support services earlier, such as respite care, support groups, and community organizations. Knowing where to turn for help can make a significant difference in managing caregiving responsibilities.
Effective Communication Strategies
Caregivers may wish they had learned effective communication strategies earlier, both in communicating with their loved one and with healthcare professionals. Clear and empathetic communication can help reduce misunderstandings and improve the caregiving experience.
Setting Boundaries
Many caregivers wish they had established boundaries earlier in their caregiving journey, both in terms of their time and energy. Setting realistic expectations and boundaries can help prevent caregiver strain and maintain a healthy balance in life.
Financial and Legal Planning
Caregivers may wish they had started planning for financial and legal matters earlier, such as estate planning, power of attorney, and long-term care insurance. Being prepared for the future can alleviate stress and uncertainty down the road.
Seeking Emotional Support
Caregivers often wish they had sought emotional support earlier in their caregiving journey, whether through therapy, counseling, or support groups. Talking to others who understand can provide validation, encouragement, and practical advice.
Accepting Help From Others
Many caregivers wish they had been more willing to accept help from family, friends, and neighbors earlier on. Allowing others to assist with caregiving tasks can lighten the load and prevent feelings of isolation and overwhelm.
Understanding the Progression of the Illness
Caregivers may wish they had a better understanding of the progression of their loved one's illness or condition earlier in the caregiving process. Knowing what to expect can help caregivers anticipate needs and plan accordingly.
Coping With Grief and Loss
Caregivers often wish they had better prepared themselves for the emotional challenges of caregiving, including coping with grief and loss. Recognizing and processing feelings of grief along the way can help caregivers better navigate the caregiving journey.
The Value of Moments of Joy
Finally, many caregivers wish they had recognized and appreciated the moments of joy and connection with their loved one earlier in their caregiving experience. Finding moments of joy, laughter, and connection can help sustain caregivers through the more difficult times.
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Overall, caregivers often wish they had known certain things earlier in their caregiving journey to better prepare, cope, and find support along the way. Reflecting on these insights can be valuable for both current and future caregivers.

Additional Resources & Support

Our resource database has a wealth of information available 24/7. Check out bridgingresourceswv.org or go to Search Services tab above and it will take you there.

WV Bureau of Senior Services

This agency provides information and assistance to caregivers, including respite care, support groups, and caregiver training programs.

WV Department of Health and Human Resources

This department may offer various programs and services that can support caregivers, including Medicaid waiver programs, home- based services, and assistance with accessing healthcare resources.

West Virginia Medicaid Personal Care Services Program

The West Virginia Medicaid Personal Care Services Program is an in-home care program for West Virginia Medicaid members who may need help with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Trained direct-care workers come to your home, place of employment, or community to assist with ADLs and other areas of personal care to help you live independently.

Cigna Stress Management Toolkit

Stress is a fact of life. It's your mind and body's response to demanding situations or events. Not all stress is bad. It can energize you and help you perform at your best. But too much stress, or stress that lasts too long, can take a toll. This link will connect with podcasts and audio versions of mindfulness exercises to help relieve stress.

Exceptional Lives

Find resources and easy-to-read information for parents and caregivers of children and young adults with disabilities.

Families Anonymous

FA is not drug, alcohol, or behavior specific. Members focus on themselves-on their recovery from codependency and on changing any of their attitudes and behaviors (e.g., denial, enabling, rescuing, controlling, manipulating, and a whole range of other crippling actions and emotions) that prevent their own recovery and that of their addicted loved ones.

No Barriers USA

Once on the homepage, select Focus Areas, then select Caregivers. There, you will find two tabs, one explaining how they support veteran caregivers and the other will be a list of retreats and applications to them. This CO based organization is timely in their response and support.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

This organization has some excellent tools for caregivers. While it may seem geared toward the aging, the materials available offer excellent insight into self care. Use the "contact" button to ask questions about materials that could be targeted to the special needs of your situation.

Tracking Devices for the Sick and/or Elderly

Medical alert medicalalert.com
800-800-2537

Mobile help mobilehelp.com
800-992-0616

Sensor monitoring Be Close
866-574-1784

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

As the TBI Pathway of Care manager within the MHS, the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence promotes state-of-the-science care from point-of-injury to reintegration for service members, veterans, and their families to prevent and mitigate consequences of mild to severe TBI