Caregivers need support too! Many people think they don’t. Caregivers finding their own support is more than crucial.
Caregivers have a tendency to focus so much on their stroke survivor that even when they join a support group or create a blog, they focus on the survivor and not themselves.
This can create bitterness, resentment, and overwhelm. You caregivers have also experienced the worst thing that you’ve probably ever experienced in your life. You need to address and deal with the outrageous emotions that result from experiencing such a life-changing event.
Although I can understand the struggles a caregiver faces, I strongly believe you should NEVER seek assistance coping from your survivor!
No matter how hard you try to understand – you will never fully understand what they are experiencing. Although you both experienced a life-changing event, YOU can ALWAYS walk away – if even for a moment, you can walk away. We NEVER can, we receive no breaks from the effects of stroke.
Being there for your survivor is ALWAYS a choice! Living as a survivor is not! By the way, this is one of the few times you will ever see me use the words always and never. I don’t believe in those two words.
With that said, if you want to be helpful to your stroke survivor, it is crucial you take care of yourself! You have to start right at the beginning and not wait until you become overwhelmed. Once you become overwhelmed, you are harming the person you’re there to help.
If you think you’re strong and you can handle it, you’re wrong! Stroke is unlike any other illness. It’s much more than tending to another person’s daily needs, it’s much more than raising a difficult child. We will push you to your limits very quickly.
Every moment after a stroke is a leap into a dark abyss! You never know what to expect next.
On top of the time factor and rollercoaster events, you also have to consider that you no longer have them to turn to.
Typically, your survivor is your spouse or parent, a person you counted on in life, a person that would comfort and support you during difficult periods. Well that person is gone. They will not have the energy or ability to be supportive to you, at least not for quite a while, if ever.
Strokes affect EVERY aspect of everyone’s life! In most cases, the changes are permanent. In the beginning, the changes are more extreme, but strokes change you permanently.
Below you will find a list of blogs and Facebook Support Groups. Caregivers are typically welcome in Stroke Survivor support groups but mainly for helping caregivers to understand the survivor’s experience.
Make sure you join a Caregiver only support group. As a caregiver, your personal issues are vastly different from ours as survivors.
Caregiver issues are not really welcome in our survivor support groups. Although we love and appreciate you more than you’ll ever know, we are too consumed with our own frustrations, struggles, and loss to be capable of handling yours.
We have a tremendous amount of guilt about how we have affected your life. We can’t handle hearing about it from you.
Since I am a survivor, my focus is on being the survivor. Needless to say, my collection of caregiver written blogs and caregiver support groups is lacking.
Please help me increase these resources by completing this form with information on any caregiver group, blog, or website that you have found helpful.