Social and Emotional Support for Caregivers

Understanding the Emotional Toll of Caretaking

When providing care for a loved one, increased demands and responsibilities can interfere with a person’s ability to invest in relationships and maintain social connections.

It is not uncommon for caregivers to feel a variety of emotions and stress, including:

  • Guilt
  • Helplessness
  • Anger
  • Pressure 

The Importance of Support and Socialization

At a time when the need for social and emotional support is the greatest, caregivers often face feelings of isolation that jeopardize their health and well-being. Social interaction plays an important role in maintaining a caregiver’s health by providing an opportunity for communication and an outlet for emotional expression.

In some cases, opening up to family and friends can increase their support and provide for opportunities for temporary periods of respite and relief from caregiving demands.

Sources of social and emotional support can include:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Religious organizations
  • Online support groups
  • Support groups
  • Professional assistance 

Caregivers First Initiative (CFI)

The Caregivers First Initiative is a free program through Familylinks that provides support to caregivers who are caring for older adults.  After completing a comprehensive assessment to identify the needs of the caregiver, a Care Coach will visit the caregiver twelve times at home or speak with them over the phone during a six-month period to provide emotional support, skills training, stress management, and education.

In order to be eligible for the program, caregivers must be:

  • An adult caregiver aged 18 years or older
  • Providing care to an older adult aged 60 years or older in Allegheny county
  • Experiencing increased burden and stress
  • Struggling to balance caregiving and other responsibilities such as work, family, finances, etc.
  • Looking for resources to help

For additional information, please contact Familylinks CFI at (412) 924-0400.


Finding Support from Other Caregivers

Sharing experiences with others is a good outlet for caregivers and helps provide an outlet to the challenging demands of providing care. 

Other caregivers can offer suggestions and assistance as well as coping strategies.


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