Caregiving, did you know you are a caregiver?

Caregiving. Ways to identify if the word, caregiver is you.  There are opportunities for Respite. The scenario.    You are caring for a family member. It happens suddenly after an accident; your loved one who was once completely independent, is now relying on you for some aspect of “ activities of daily living”, transport to Dr’s appointments, the weekly shopping, care of bandages or medication reminders, even dressing or bathing assistance.  It may be that you have an adult child with Special needs.  They need you for daily life skills. It’s become part of your everyday life, that you may not realize that you need time for your self to regroup.  You may be thinking, or  “ always doing the next thing “ because you want the best of care for your loved one when in fact that you forgotten  about taking time for yourself. Simply put, you just don’t see a way to fit it in.  But, you do need to take care of you.  Acknowledge this.  It’s okay.

I came across some information that my local church, was hosting it’s first “Caregiving Retreat” almost 2 years ago.  I thought , “ this is me, and my husband”. We had been using a small amount of agency help, but in fact 24/7,  We were the caregivers.  That first year, we were unaware that there was specific support for caregivers of all types.


Support for Caregivers:

United Way of Northern New Jersey.

United Way  has recently started a Caregiver Coalition. Meetings  last about 2 hours.  The idea is for Caregivers to come together for respite, learn something on a topic, from a speaker presentation, relax, have a light supper and snack while meeting other caregivers.  There are monthly meeting in counties through New Jersey.  Once a year , in the spring there is a “ Night Out”, co-sponsored by United Way and a Culinary school from one of The Vo-Tech schools. We attended last year, Appetizers and delicious desserts were served. It made me feel like a princess, to sit back and be the receiver instead of the giver, for a few minutes.

Each time, I attend a Caregiver Retreat, I take away something new.  There are many resources, sometimes you have to find them, by attending these meetings.

Easter Seals, Camp Merry Heart.


Although, I personally, have not been there, I received a flyer.  Described as recreational experiences for people of all ages and all levels of ability. .


Hotel Respites, for ages 18 + :

Opportunities to go to area attractions utilizing New Jersey- based Hotel Respites, approved for funding from DDD Family Support Services and Real Life Choices. Accommodates adults of varying abilities who require minimal to mild support and assistance with community based activities.

Overnight Camp: For ages 6- 96

Year round programs. There are different lengths of stay, from a weekend, to a week or longer. There’s a host of recreational activities that build the participants’ confidence and self- esteem.  Getaways like this, offer much-needed respite and peace of mind for family caregivers.

Travel Respites:

For out of state destinations with hotel-based Travel Respites.


Special Needs Summer Camps in New Jersey.


It it was mentioned that it’s a good idea to reserve ahead of time to book, during the months of March, April for the summer months of July and August.

Camp Oakhurst For children, teens and adults,  for physical and developmental abilities.

For more info, look up New Jersey summer camps via google, Autism spectrum, and  developmental disabilities.

In summary, this is the beginning In how the caregiver can obtain some rest, or a short break.

There are many more tips and tools available.  While Attending  a caregiving meeting, there are opportunities for networking which  will open up new doors to ideas for getting some moments of rest.

In my next posts, I’ll share topics of ways I found to alleviate the stress, and get out and do something. Tools for the caregiver.


Categories: caregiving, caregiver, respite, special needs, Autism spectrum, developmental disabilities. , camps., recreation. United Way, Easter Seals. , caregiver retreats.

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