Family Caregivers Can Find Relief from Stress

By Sharon K. Brothers, Exec. Vice President, Caregiver Village

Sharon Brothers, Caregiver Village
If you’re like a lot of family caregivers you might be feeling stressed, overworked, overscheduled, exhausted and lonely.  You might feel like you’re all alone, doing a job that’s just too big, with no one cheering you on. 

You’re probably getting a lot of second-guessing but not much support from your family.  You might be feeling like it’s just too hard.  Have you ever done something really, really hard – for fun?  Have you trained for a marathon, a century bike ride, a hike up a mountain?  If you’ve ever done this you probably remember feeling exhausted many times during training and the event.  BUT – here’s the big difference – you were doing it by choice.  You were in control.

Imagine the difference between running a marathon by choice and running 26 miles because someone is forcing you to do it.

The big difference is in how you experience the stress.  Running a marathon – or doing anything else that’s really, really challenging – is stressful.  But when you do it by choice - when you’re in control - it makes all the difference in the world.  Your body interprets the stress as a good thing.  You feel exhausted – but like you’ve achieved something BIG. 

Cara, the care giver on the Caregiver Village website
If you’re doing something this challenging because you feel forced to do it the negative stress can make you sick.  You’re at risk for all kinds of illness, including stroke and early death, just from the negative stress.

The work of a caregiver is hard.  It’s exhausting much of the time.  You don’t earn a medal for doing it – you should, by the way – but you’re also doing something that’s an even greater achievement than completing a marathon.  You’re giving of yourself: your time, your energy, your work.  And you’re doing it selflessly.

In Caregiver Village (, a virtual community that is filled with family caregivers caring for people with all kinds of problems, the hard work of family caregivers is celebrated.  Tips, suggestions and tools to reduce the stress of caregiving abound in the Village.  Even more importantly, caregivers share their stories through journaling and in group discussions, giving each other help with problems, support and encouragement. 
There’s even a game to give caregivers a break while they follow the travails of Cara and her friends, learning along with them how to better manage some of the tasks and stress they encounter along the way.

Caregiver Village is a community specially designed for family caregivers so they no longer need to feel alone, stressed, and without choices.  Instead, they can feel proud, supported and happy with the hard work, and the tremendous gift of care and time they are giving to their family.

Author Sharon K. Brothers has worked in the field of senior care for the past 3 decades, leading support groups in person for many of those years.  She is currently Exec. Vice President of Caregiver Village.  Contact her at
You can find Caregiver Village on the web at


Post a Comment