HONOLULU (KHON2) — “It’s not always easy, but caregiving is so rewarding if we can look past the work of it. If we can look past the frustrations of it and the emotional upheaval it can cause,” says Gary Powell, Founder & Executive Director of The Caregiver Foundation.

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That’s why The Caregiver Foundation started a caregiver support line.

“It’s a phone call for caregivers who just need to talk to somebody, just to let them know how you’re feeling,” says Powell.

And you will actually talk to another caregiver.

“This is somebody who they can actually engage with and have a heart to heart conversation about their fears, anxieties, their joy, their sorrows, just the stress,” says Powell.

Powell was 13 years old when he started caregiving for his grandfather.

“At the core, it’s still the same thing. How can we make life better for somebody? I made life better for my grandfather. We try to make life better for every person we work with,” says Powell.

Powell says don’t worry about the past, focus on the present.

“Understanding that you’re not perfect, do the best you can, and getting rid of what people refer to as guilt. We can have regret, sorrow, sadness, wish we did something different. But unless we were actively causing harm to someone, guilt is not appropriate. So get rid of that and you’ll also get rid of the stress that comes with it,” says Powell.

His final piece of advice.

“Hang in there! That’s my best word right now. Hang in there, take a deep breath and get though today. Concentrate on tomorrow when it comes,” says Powell.

The Caregiver Support Line is a free and confidential service at 808-622-9004.

For more information, click here.

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