Asking for help can be one of the hardest things to do. Unfortunately, too often people do not ask for support when needed for many reasons (e.g., they are afraid or don’t know where to find the help they need). Asking for help ISN’T a sign of weakness, it shows STRENGTH and that you are ready to contribute more to your own overall wellbeing and quality of life. Supports can include community support groups, medical assistance or consultation, caregiving, educational support about your specific brain health condition and so on. There are a variety of resources available to you and your family and each organizations goal is to assist you in your journey.
What is a Support Network?
A support network is a compilation of personal and professional resources that can provide you with practical, emotional, physical, psychological, and/or spiritual assistance. Whether you are experiencing a brain health condition, or you are caring for someone with on, dealing with the disorder can be quite challenging, which is why having a support network is essential for both the individual and their caregiver. Having a support system can come with numerous advantages for you and your family.
Advantages of Having a Personal Support Network:
- Less stress: A support network can decrease your stress levels by providing many kinds of practical and emotional support.
- A stronger sense of belonging: You are less likely to feel lonely if you spend time with people who value and care about you.
- Greater peace of mind: You will have a stronger sense of security if you have people in your life that you know are willing to help you.
- Better health: Many studies have found that having strong ties to others can improve your mental and physical health.
Creating your own Personal Support Network:
- Refer to a time in your life where you have experienced your greatest successes. It is likely that you had support during that time or along the way. Reflect on the support system you had then, and decide what worked best for you, what might not have been as effective. Use your past experiences to determine and create your ideal support network.
- Utilize your friends and family and identify what areas you could use support in and write them down. Ask them for their ideas and feedback on what services might be helpful to you individually and as a family.
- Inquire about support groups in your area or other means of support services that are readily available to you and your loved ones. Contacting an organization directly associated with your condition is a great resource.
- When people offer to help you it is because they care. Don’t be afraid to say “yes” to help. After all, those people have the privilege of contributing to your health and well-being.
- Connect with other individuals who have the same diagnosis and ask them what their support network consists of. They might have some beneficial tips and connections that you will get value from utilizing.
Resources for Caregivers:
Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits:
Family Caregiver Handbook: