The best caregiver support is from people who truly understand
Caring for an older adult is a stressful, exhausting job. It can also be an isolating experience if none of your friends or non-caregiving family members understands what you’re going through.
A caregiver support group is one of the best places to go when caregiving feels overwhelming and lonely. These groups reduce stress because you can vent your frustrations to people who truly understand, get useful advice, and find out about local resources.
But what happens if you attend a group meeting and find that you don’t really like the group or didn’t feel a connection?
Don’t give up hope! Every support group has its own personality and the first one you try might not be a great match for you. There are many options out there and it’s worth the effort to find one that suits you.
We’ve got 4 tips to help you find a wonderful caregiver support group that feels just right.
1. Give that group another chance
Consider going back to that group one more time. 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
Ask local hospitals, senior centers, or the Area Agency on Aging (Tip: enter zip code only to search) for a list of all the support groups in your county.
Trying different groups increases the chance that you’ll find one that’s a good fit. Keep an open mind even if the description doesn’t exactly match your older adult’s condition.
Examples of different groups to consider:
- Specific medical conditions – dementia, stroke, heart disease, breathing problems, etc.
- Adult children caring for parents
- Stress management
3. Find a confidante you can trust
Instead of going to a group, you might prefer speaking with someone one-on-one. Of course, it’s important that they can focus on listening, not judging your actions, and providing the type of support you need.
Suggested sources of support:
- A leader or counselor from your church, temple, or place of worship
- A therapist, social worker, or similar type of counselor
- A trusted friend or close family member who’s known for their empathy and ability to listen
4. Try an online support group
There are excellent sources of support available online. Even if you don’t meet people face-to-face, many say these groups soon start feeling like family.
For example, Memory People on Facebook is a great community of people who are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Other wonderful private groups on Facebook include Caregivers Connect, Caring for Elderly Parents, and Sandwich Generation. They’re all free – just request to join.
These are great groups, but as with everything online, take the usual precautions when speaking with people you don’t know. Stay safe by not sharing any personal information, especially your address, social security number, or financial information.
Recommended for you:
- What Happens at a Caregiver Support Group Meeting?
- 8 Benefits of Caregiver Support Groups
- Alzheimer’s Support Group on Facebook: Memory People
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Salus Homecare
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