Caregiver? We can help you!

Caregiving means caring for others – whether relatives or friends.

Need a 10 minute break from being the caregiver? Have your loved one call The Samaritans.

It’s our free gift to you!

Respite means to provide rest or relief.

After a full day of responsibilities, sometime you’re just too tired to listen to the loved ones around you – especially those who may have a chronic condition such as a physical or mental illness; or an aging parent, or a friend or family member who only turns to you for support.

When you are too tired to listen, suggest your family member or friend call a volunteer at The Samaritans.

A 10 minute call to The Samaritans – when your loved one has a chance to talk to a nonjudgmental listener – can provide you with 10 minutes of rest – to enjoy your dinner, read a paper, read to your child or go for short walk. It just might be the daily break you need to feel rested and ready to take on the next challenge.

Did you know most of our callers are not suicidal?

More than 80% of our calls are from daily supported callers. People of all ages call to talk about many different personal issues, including when they are hopeless, alone or have suicidal feelings. Some people call once while others may call every day. Sometimes, they call just to let us know how their day went or to say goodnight.  Samaritans volunteers are there to listen as often as needed.

It’s important to remember—no one needs to be suicidal to call a friend at The Samaritans.

We enhance and support professional care

The Samaritans does not replace professional medical, mental health, pastoral or social service care. It can, however, shore up such supportive services between appointments or when family and friends are not available.

Our hotline/listening line support is also available when professional care services are no longer an option.

Facts about care giving

The federal government reports –

  • About one fourth of American families are caring for an older family member; an adult child with disabilities or a friend.
  • According to recent surveys, more than 7 million persons are informal caregivers to older adults.
  • Studies show that more than half of caregivers are women.  Care receivers are about half women and half men.
  • The average amount of time caregivers spend on caregiving is about 20 hours per week.
  • Care for a person with disabilities can be physically demanding especially for older caregivers.

Learn more about coping with stress at this federal website: Caregiving.

Caregiver Stress

Caregiver stress is a daily fact of life for many caregivers. Many caregivers need to balance care giving with other responsibilities such as jobs and caring for family.  Constant stress can lead to “burnout” and health problems for the caregiver.  Caregivers may feel guilty, frustrated and angry from time to time.

In caring for someone you love, such as children, an elderly family member or a friend—caregivers often sacrifice their own emotional and physical needs. They may find themselves overwhelmed by managing the constant demands and responsibilities of being a caregiver.

Research has shown that care giving can lead to increased risk for depression and illness.

Feelings of anger, anxiety, sadness, isolation, exhaustion and guilt are common among caregivers. Caregiver depression often goes unnoticed as caregivers struggle with the consuming nature of their roles. Foregoing their own medical care and lack of sleep can contribute to depression and can cause caregivers to suffer burnout.

Understand the connection between medical and behavioral health problems

Often times, health and behavioral health problems happen at the same time impacting upon each other and you can feel depressed. The stress of care giving as well as changes in medications or diet, stress, lifestyle issues or previously undiagnosed medical problems can also impact on your mental and physical well being. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, write a list of your concerns, observations, past and current medical issues and health care challenges as well as any thoughts of depression and suicide. Share your concerns with a trusted family member or friend, emergency room personnel, your health care provider or social service coordinator.

Coordinate your care

Your primary care doctor is your medical home. The best care is coordinated care between a RI licensed primary care doctor and RI licensed behavioral health specialist. Your list of concerns and observations, emergency room assessments, as well as medical and behavioral reports should be provided to and exchanged among your care providers.

The path to well: stay connected!

While being a care giver may be unavoidable, your well being will play an important role in your ability to remain a caregiver. Staying connected to family, friends and your community is an important. Become part of a community organization – faith based, recreational, volunteer, educational, senior, library, youth and teen, garden or environmental organization can provide purpose, friendship and hope. Call your local city or town or visit their website to learn more about what’s happening in your community! Can’t leave your home? Stay connected to The Samaritans of Rhode Island’s free, listening line where trained volunteers listen and befriend without judgment. Callers are invited to call as often as needed.  Call (401) 272-4044 or (1-800) 365-4044.

Need to talk about the stress of being a caregiver?

Call a friend at The Samaritans.

At The Samaritans, we care—we listen—we help.

Depression is not a weakness.  If these feelings persist, they may be a sign you need help to cope with the strain of caring for a friend or family member.  When you’re feeling isolated, a call to The Samaritans can help you know  you’re not alone.  Often times, talking to a Samaritan volunteer is the first step to being able to talk to a trusted family member, friend, licensed physician or licensed counselor. We can also point you in the direction of help.

Please remember, at The Samaritans we are here to listen—you are never a bother.

The Samaritans Hotline/Listening Line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year depending on the availability of volunteers within a 24 hour period.