Many family caregivers fear that they have to give up their social interactions once they begin their caregiving journey. The fact is that this isn’t true and it can actually be unhealthy for you to do that.
Set Aside a Few Minutes Each Day for Phone Calls
Even if you only have a few minutes each day during which you could call someone, that can be enough. Call a friend or family member who is supportive of what you’re going through as a family caregiver. Take a few minutes to vent, but make sure that you also let that person know you care what’s going on with her, too. A few minutes a day can still keep a connection strong.
Use Social Media
For some friends and family, phone calls aren’t easy to manage, no matter how much time any of you have. Social media can come in really handy in those situations. Set up a private Facebook group or use other social media networks to keep family members up to date on what is going on with your loved one. Even if you don’t have much time to post, browse through your friends’ posts and make a comment or two to let them know you’re thinking of them.
Join a Support Group
Support groups can do an incredible amount of good for you both as a caregiver and on the social front. You’re far more likely to make new friends who understand exactly what you’re going through on a daily basis. Friends you make at support groups can also give you tips and tricks they’ve learned over the years to help maintain their own friendships.
Get Someone to Fill in So You Can Get Together Face-to-face
You don’t have to be with your elderly loved one every minute of every day and you really shouldn’t. Talk to other family members about filling in for you now and again. If that’s not possible, hire elderly home health care providers to keep your loved one company while you’re gone. Use that time to do whatever you need to do, including meeting with your friends for face-to-face lunches or other gatherings.
Some of your friends will likely try more diligently than others to stay in touch, but for those who do, your willingness to make an effort will go a long way toward keeping your friendship going.