It's safe to say that life is not going to slow down and at times it feels like the more digitized our lives get, the busier we are. Caregivers often juggle multiple priorities at the same time, with the concept of time management seemingly overwhelming and even unattainable. Those who offer advice frequently invite caregivers to prioritize, declutter, take breaks, accept help, focus on one's well-being, and know their limitations. Fortunately, the digital age has provided us with quite a few efficient resources. Here are a couple of online tools that can help alleviate stress and hopefully take some weight off caregivers' shoulders.
CaringBridge is a free tool designed to share health updates. It is an easy and ad-free way to communicate health news to family and friends-all in one place. If you feel you are bombarded by friends and family who want to know the latest about your loved one, this is an efficient tool for updating everyone at once without having to send countless emails or texts.
Get the app:
Lotsa Helping Hands provides one platform to coordinate help, communicate updates, and receive emotional support. Users can schedule meal deliveries, rides to appointments, and visiting hours by posting tasks where help is needed. This online "community" allows concerned family members, friends, and community members access to your loved one's status, as well as to share photos and well wishes. If you are feeling overwhelmed with people reaching out to offer help, this is one way to coordinate it all. You can even name one family member or friend to be the organizer of this app for you!
Get the app:
Once you have created some support using these apps or others, be sure to then schedule "me" time! Caring for yourself needs to become the top priority on your to-do list and you will need to train yourself so it becomes a habit. That may mean taking a five-minute walk, a shower, or grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend. Your time as a caregiver will not last forever and it is important to remember who you are and what you enjoy. Once your time as a caregiver ends, you may experience a void and it's important to continue to do some of the things that fill you up.
If you are caregiving for a loved one and would like to get connected with others in our community who are walking the same path, join ABC11's Caregivers Corner moderated by Nicole Clagett. The group has more than two thousand people supporting one another and sharing wonderful information and resources daily. More helpful tips about this topic can be found in ABC11's Caregivers Corner section.