Note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, support groups may have shifted to phone or online meetings.
The best caregiver support is from people who truly understand
Caregiving can be an isolating experience – especially if friends or non-caregiving family members don’t understand what you’re going through.
Caregiver support groups reduce stress because you get a chance to talk with people who really understand, vent frustrations, get useful advice, and find out about local resources.
And you’ll know that you’re not alone in the struggle.
But what if you attend a support group meeting and find that you don’t really like the group or didn’t feel a connection?
First, and most important, don’t give up on support groups.
Every support group has its own personality, so the first one you try might not be a match for you. There are many options out there and it’s worth the effort to find a group that suits you.
We share 4 tips to help you find a wonderful caregiver support group that feels just right.
1. Give the group another chance
Consider going back to that group one or two more times.
Maybe that specific combination of attendees didn’t work for you, but people come and go so the next meeting could feel completely different.
2. Try a different support group
Trying different groups increases the chance that you’ll find one that’s a good fit.
Find out about caregiver support groups in your area by asking local senior care communities, senior centers, and hospitals or through the Eldercare Locator.
If your older adult has a specific health condition, many major non-profit organizations offer local support groups, including:
3. Find a trusted confidante
Instead of attending a support group, you might prefer speaking with someone one-on-one.
It’s important that the person you choose is able to focus on listening and providing the type of support you need – and won’t judge or criticize your actions.
Suggested sources of support:
- A leader or counselor from your church, temple, or place of worship
- A therapist, social worker, or similar type of trained counselor
- A trusted friend or close family member who’s known for their empathy and ability to listen
4. Try an online caregiver support group
There are many excellent sources of support available online. Even if you aren’t seeing people face-to-face, many caregivers say that group members start feeling like family.
We recommend 11 wonderful private groups on Facebook. They’re all free – just request to join.
These are all great groups, but as with everything online, take the usual precautions when communicating with people you don’t know.
Stay safe by not sharing any personal information, especially your address, social security number, or financial information.
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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
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