8 Benefits of Caregiver Support Groups

benefits of caregiver support groups

You’re not alone in this

Caregiving is a tough and isolating experience. But caregiver support groups are filled with people in similar situations. Finally! People who actually get what you’re going through!

 

How caregiver support groups can help

Support group members validate each other’s experiences. It’s a relief to know that what you’re going through is normal and that you’re not the only one with these feelings – negative or positive.

Support groups are a great place to ask for advice, find out about useful resources, and just vent about your frustrations. Nobody will judge you because everyone is going through the same struggles.

After all, there’s no instruction manual for being a caregiver! And let’s be honest, being forced to learn everything by trial and error just sucks. Why not learn from someone else’s experience?




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8 benefits of caregiver support groups

Research has shown that participating in caregiver support groups results in very real benefits that can significantly improve your quality of life.

Caregivers in support groups report 8 key benefits

  1. Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
  2. Gaining a sense of empowerment and control
  3. Improving your coping skills
  4. Reducing distress, depression or anxiety and having lower rates of clinical depression
  5. Developing a clearer understanding of what to expect with your situation
  6. Getting practical advice or information about treatment options
  7. Improving your caregiving ability and giving better quality of life for the older adult
  8. Helping you keep your loved one at home longer

 

How to find a local caregiver support group

 

Bottom line

Caregiving is difficult and everyone struggles with the day-to-day challenges. Instead of feeling abandoned and suffering through on your own, try a caregiver support group. It’s a helpful place that can make your life easier, reduce stress, and improve your health.

 

Recommended for you:
What Is a Caregiver Support Group Like?
Alzheimer’s Support Group on Facebook: Memory People
Q & A: I Went to a Caregiver Support Group, But Didn’t Like It. Now What?

 

By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Sources: NIH, Mayo Clinic
Image: Learning Disability Carers Community


6 Comments

  • Reply August 18, 2017

    Grounded

    My mom’s been living with us for 5 months now. Everyday, I pray that it will get better, but it doesn’t…She walks with a walker, has fallen a few times, and is losing memory by the minute. I make her 3 meals a day, bathe her, run Dr. visits, get what she needs. Not being well myself, it is all I can do to function in my life. Or should I say that I’ve all but stopped … The guilt of my daily struggle versus the thoughts of “it’s your mom” is overbearing. I feel like an eagle with severed wings, never to be happy again…

    • Reply August 19, 2017

      DailyCaring.com

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It’s an adjustment when you start caring for someone. If your mom has a cognitive impairment that is not curable (like dementia), she won’t get better. Unfortunately, conditions like dementia are progressive and there are currently no cures. But if she doesn’t, something else could be causing those issues. There are a variety of treatable health conditions that cause dementia-like symptoms — http://dailycaring.com/7-treatable-health-conditions-with-symptoms-similar-to-dementia/

      What can help you cope and allow you time to care for your own health is to get some help with caregiving. You could convince family to help, hire in-home caregivers, or consider an adult day program. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. Caring for an older adult is a tough job and you shouldn’t expect yourself to do everything, even if she’s your mom.

      The goal is to make sure she gets the care she needs to be as well and happy as possible. But you shouldn’t sacrifice your own health. Plus, if you become too ill to care for her, she’ll be in an even worse situation. That’s why it’s important to set up a support system and get the help you need before a crisis happens.

      We’ve got some articles that might be helpful:
      — Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: http://dailycaring.com/dont-fall-for-the-caregiver-guilt-trap-two-common-myths/
      — How to take breaks and get help: http://dailycaring.com/6-ways-to-make-it-easier-for-caregivers-to-take-a-break/
      — Lots of suggestions for coping with stress: http://dailycaring.com/category/caregiver-wellness/stress-relief/
      — In case you want to ask the doctor about diagnosing dementia: http://dailycaring.com/how-is-dementia-diagnosed-a-geriatrician-explains/

      For the falling, I’d suggest speaking with her doctor to ask them to do a full review of all the medication, vitamin, and supplements she takes. Many common medications can cause an increase in fall risk. Simple changes like changing the time a medicine is taken or discontinuing something if it’s no longer needed can make a big difference. Please DO NOT make any changes to her medications without specific instructions from the doctor, that can be dangerous. You may also want to ask if physical therapy could improve her strength and balance and reduce her fall risk. If he writes a prescription, it could be covered under Medicare home health services.

      You may also find that a caregiver support group is helpful. They are an amazing source of stress relief, advice, and support. Here’s some info about why they’re so helpful and some of our favorite free, private groups on Facebook:
      http://dailycaring.com/8-benefits-of-caregiver-support-groups/
      http://dailycaring.com/11-caregiver-support-groups-on-facebook-youll-want-to-join/

      Big hugs, you can do this. There are ways to care for your mom and regain some health and happiness ❤

  • Reply November 15, 2016

    Barbara Clark

    Is there a CareGiver Support Group in Naples, Fl.? I have been caring for my mom who is now 1 month short of her 105th Birthday. She is for the most part blind and extremely hard of hearing.
    Now, a home bound bed patient. Very sharp mind.

    • Reply November 16, 2016

      DailyCaring

      That’s amazing that your mom is 105 years old! You’ve got some amazing genes in your family. It’s great that you’re looking or a support group, it’s an effective way to reduce stress, talk with people who understand the situation, and find out about local resources.

      In Naples, FL, I’d suggest calling local hospitals to see if they have any caregiver support groups. I’d also suggest calling the Area Agency on Aging for Collier County (phone number here http://aaaswfl.org/) to find out about local support groups. They don’t include that type of information on their website. Local assisted living communities often have support groups and I assume they’d welcome anyone from the community, not just relatives of their residents. I wish we could provide more specific info, but online information is limited. I hope these suggestions help you find a great group!

  • Reply April 7, 2015

    Irene Dockins

    For family caregivers in the San Mateo CA area, ElderConsult Geriatric Medicine offers a monthly support group- first Wednesday of every month (next one May 6) at 6:30 PM at Hope Lutheran Church 600 42nd Ave San Mateo. Call 650-357-8834 X1 for details/information. Group is free and participants are wonderful. Join us!

    • Reply April 7, 2015

      Connie Chow

      Thank you, Irene!

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