BBC Caregiver Stories: The Case For Caregiver Peer Support
Building Better Caregivers® (BBC) participants often discover they’re not alone in facing the challenges of caregiving. The nature of around-the-clock caregiving can take a toll on the health of family caregivers, impacting their caregiving capacity, and even sending them to the hospital. Employers, health plans, and families are impacted by the increase in healthcare costs not only of the patient, but also the caregiver. Providing caregivers with a way to give and receive support can change the way caregivers approach caregiving, and as a result, improve their health and overall well-being. Here’s what one recent BBC graduate shared:
“I learned how to recognize and manage bad behavior, stress, causes and triggers for bad behavior. I learned how important it is to take care of ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually as caregivers so that we can better care for our care partners. I learned how to ask for help and hold meetings with family, friends, the healthcare team and resources through the VA. I obtained a lot of important information available through the VA and the community. I learned about decision making. I learned about planning for the future. I learned about the legalities and housing options that we will have to manage as caregivers that will concern the care partner now and in the future. I got a lot out of this workshop that will help me be the best caregiver for my loved one, and I plan on continuing to use everything I have learned, refer to the resources offered through the VA and the community, the worksheets, and behavior management, and I plan on using all the skills I have learned in this workshop.”
BBC graduate Paula shares how the workshop improved her health:
“Before the workshop I was exhausted all the time. I had all kinds of digestive issues because of the stress. Since the workshop I don’t have those issues anymore. I learned how to reward myself, be good to Paula, and to give myself an opportunity to rest and relax. I was doing none of that before the program.” See her story here.
Taking care of caregivers before the role impacts their health is one way to better manage the caregiver shortage. The online workshop’s peer support methodology allows caregivers to find comfort and comradery, proven to boost health and self-efficacy. Healthy caregivers are better caregivers. Peer support programs can help underpin family caregivers when they’re needed most.