Overcoming Isolation with Community
Why do we feel alone and isolated as caregivers? Why do the feelings of loneliness and isolation feel so intense for family caregivers even when we know that we’re one of millions across our province or state – and one of hundreds of millions around the world.
For example, Ottawa has a population of one million people and a rate of one in 67 kids who have autism. And that’s only one of many diagnoses.
Personally, I believe that we feel alone because so much of our caregiver role takes place behind closed doors and I feel most lonely when I need to restrain Summer and hold her tight. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world.
That being said, there’s no reason for me to suffer in silence. I know that I’m not alone in the world of Moms who have a non-verbal daughter with autism and a rare disease. That’s why we need to embrace the resources that exist to support us, guide us and help us.
Once such online resource I found is ExtendaTouch – and I’m excited to share this with you to help spread the word.
ExtendaTouch is an online platform connects caregivers based on common experiences and shared feelings of worry and overwhelm of caring for a loved one. It connects caregivers in two manners. First, it offers a secure community where people can ask for support and tips in caring for a loved one; and secondly, it acts as an online directory for associations, organizations and companies that support caregivers.
Rest assured, ExtendaTouch cares because its founders know firsthand the joys and challenges of caring for a loved one. They have walked in our shoes and experienced the same feelings of worry, anger and guilt that all caregivers share.
Now is the time to make things easier for ourselves. Taking the first step is usually the hardest – even when it will have positive results. Check ExtendaTouch out – look for resources. Bookmark the site.
One silver lining of 2020 has been learning about the online platforms that exist to support us in our role as caregivers. There is no reason for us to believe again that we are alone on this caregiver journey.
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I am grateful that I get to spend this time with her and her brother. I will honour this time of a more relaxed schedule.
Whichever route a family chooses, what matters is knowing when to ask for help and how to get the right help to care for any family member that needs an additional helping hand.