Life Options for Seniors
Benefits of Caregiver Support Group
Caregiving can feel like an isolating experience that leaves you exhausted and overwhelmed. At such times, it can feel like you are dealing with so much on your own, which is why family caregiver support is so helpful since you interact with people in similar situations.
What a Family Caregiver Support Group Can Do for You
Even when you are part of a large family and have a strong social network around you, it can be hard to share your experiences or gain insight from friends and relatives. Sometimes, it’s nearly impossible to complain to close family and friends about taking care of a loved one for fear of how selfish it may look. Joining a caregiver support group can provide you with the freedom and anonymity to freely voice your concerns and feelings without fear of judgment. It can help connect you with a diverse and understanding group of people who share similar experiences. Below are just a few other benefits of joining a family caregiver support group:
Strong Social Support Perhaps the biggest benefit of caregiver support is that it provides much-needed social support – especially when friends and family aren’t supportive. Support groups allow members to validate each other’s experiences. It is a relief to find out that what you are experiencing, whether positive or negative, is normal, and that you are not alone.
Emotional Support Caregiving can either be a rewarding experience or an incredibly stressful one, especially when there are physical and mental limitations or chronic illnesses involved. Talking your feelings and experiences through with peers, or simply listening to others’ experiences can have a calming effect. A healthy emotional outlet is essential in helping you to develop robust coping mechanisms.
A Source of Useful Information and Additional Resources These groups also offer an excellent opportunity to ask for advice and find out about useful resources. If the loved one under your care has a chronic or debilitating condition (such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease), a family caregiver support group is the best place to get and offer useful information on everything from behaviors and symptoms to look out for, to coping tips and strategies for safely providing care.
Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety Connecting with other caregivers in similar situations helps fill the void that opens whenever you feel disconnected from your peers and life before you became a caregiver. Worrying about your stress levels or anxieties takes a back seat when you are taking care of a dependent loved one.
Find a Local Family Caregiver Support Group
Local community centers and hospitals stock handouts with lists of different local support groups. If you are looking for one that’s focused on a specific health condition, you can check online websites for information. Some good sources include:
Here is a list of the best online caregiver support groups
Caregiver Support Community is a welcoming and supportive group intended for family caregivers — not for professional caregivers, nursing home workers, former caregivers, or anyone selling products or services. Before you join, the group asks you to share your caregiving story.
The organizers of this group recognize caring for your elderly parent may be one of the hardest situations you’ve ever faced. To ease this stress, the group gives members a place to ask questions, vent, or simply be heard.
Working Daughter is a space for women struggling to balance caregiving with a career and raising children. With more than 4,000 members, this group provides resources for women “searching for real world, practical answers” about juggling all of life’s responsibilities.
Caregivers of Narcissistic Family Members
This support group is a safe place for caregivers to freely discuss the challenges of caring for a narcissistic family member. Group members provide suggestions and helpful tips to improve the health of both the caregiver as well as the senior loved one.
Caring for Spouse with Dementia
A dementia caregiver support group that offers understanding from a specialized point of view. It’s a growing and helpful resource for those who are caregiving and also coming to terms with their spouse’s condition.
Caregivers Connect allows the voices of family caregivers to be heard. This support group aims to inspire caregivers and provide helpful resources to better care for senior loved ones. It welcomes new people and encourages members to invite anyone who may benefit from these discussions.