For caregivers, talking with a counselor can help them better shoulder the responsibilities and emotional impact of their daily duties. During the height of the pandemic, caregiver online counseling emerged as a safe, convenient way for them to connect with counselors and caregiver support groups from their own home.
Caregiver online counseling is part of telehealth, the term used for interacting with healthcare providers remotely through the internet. It’s a service that can help caregivers better manage their duties, including dealing with family caregiver holiday stress.
Hope Grows offers this type of respite for caregivers through its online caregiver support groups. They give caregivers a chance to recharge their batteries and share experiences with other caregivers.
What Is Caregiver Online Counseling?
Caregiver online counseling allows caregivers to speak with a mental health professional or other caregivers through their computer or smartphone via an internet connection. It makes it easy to connect with others who understand what the caregiver is going through and who have made positive changes in their lives.
It’s something that can benefit millions. As the population in the United States ages, the number of caregivers has sharply increased. Numbers from the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP show that the number of caregivers increased by almost 10 million between 2015 and 2020, rising to a total of 53 million.
That same report also showed that caregiver stress is more prevalent today than it was five years ago. That stress comes from managing the many day-to-day tasks involved with caring for a debilitated loved one or someone with a chronic illness.
The Importance of Caregiver Self-Care
Caregiver self-care is something Hope Grows encourages throughout its programs, Part of that self-care is taking advantage of what a non-profit organization such as Hope Grows offers, including online support groups, nature therapy and therapeutic respite.
Caregiver online counseling falls into this area of self-care. By taking time to participate in online support groups, caregivers can improve their overall wellbeing. It’s something that’s especially important in the current situation, where pandemic concerns and am uncertain economy have made a caregiver’s job more difficult than ever.
For example, the AARP study found that more American caregivers are providing care for more than one person than ever before. More are also caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, which is particularly difficult. About 61 percent of caregivers also are trying to bring money into the household by working a job, according to the AARP study.
Against that backdrop, having people to talk to online is important. For those concerned about the quality of interactions on the internet, a recent study found that patient outcomes were similar whether a person talked to a counselor online or in-person. Hope Grows offers online support for caregivers to make it more convenient for them to speak with someone who understands their situation. Sometimes, just talking to someone who “gets it” can make a caregiver feel better. Telehealth and caretaker online counseling make finding that someone more convenient than ever.