8 Benefits of Caregiver Support Groups

benefits of caregiver support groups

Caregiving can feel isolating, but you’re not alone

Caregiving can be an isolating experience, but you’re not alone in this challenge.

There are over 34 million Americans providing unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older. And nearly 16 million are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

But when you’re overwhelmed and exhausted by caregiving responsibilities, it can feel like you’re the only person dealing with so much.

That’s why caregiver support groups are so helpful. They’re filled with people in similar situations.

Being able to talk with others who truly understand what you’re going through reduces stress, validates your experience, and gives connection and support.

We explain how participating in support groups can help and share 8 benefits of caregiver support groups.




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How caregiver support groups can help

One of the main benefits of caregiver support groups is that they provide much-needed social support. This is especially important when family and friends aren’t supportive.

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 also a great place to ask for advice, find out about useful resources, or vent frustrations. You won’t have to worry about judgement or confusion from non-caregivers since everyone is going through similar struggles.

 

8 benefits of caregiver support groups

Decades of research and anecdotal evidence show that there are clear benefits to participating in caregiver support groups.

Here are 8 top benefits:

  1. Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
  2. Reducing depression, anxiety, or distress
  3. Gaining a sense of empowerment and control
  4. Getting advice or information about practical solutions or treatment options
  5. Improving or learning healthy coping skills
  6. Getting a better understanding of what to expect in the future
  7. Improving caregiving skills and giving better quality of life to your older adult
  8. Learning about ways to keep your older adult at home longer

 

Find a caregiver support group in your area

 

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba

 

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


16 Comments

  • Reply August 14, 2019

    Cassidy Woods

    Thanks for providing such a great content loaded with useful information with us. I would like to add some more on this. Exhaustion of caregivers is a common problem for caregivers of elderly parents or relatives. Taking the time to meet your own needs while caring for a loved one may seem selfish or complacent, but it is necessary for the health and well-being of all concerned. Often being a caregiver means having to make sacrifices to save time and be available to the other person.

    • Reply September 28, 2019

      DailyCaring

      Excellent perspective, thank you for sharing!

  • Reply May 25, 2018

    Selg

    I feel like a ghost. it didn’t have to be this way. it’s now too much for anyone to understand, so the cruelty of it, is that it’s never ending. I feel like a fool, since all of my efforts pulled everything under like quicksand. There’s no way out…now.

    I have to constantly push back thoughts that this is what they wanted. is it? Not that it matters anymore. What’s done is done…as my Mom says.

  • Reply December 25, 2017

    Kathleen Nicholsen

    I am a 65 White female, and was diagnosed with Dementia, but the doctors I have seen will Not classify it as Alzheimer’s, I’ve been on Aricept for over 15 years, and go for memory testing each year and a slight decline was noticed, and suggested increasing my dosage of 10 mg. once a day to 10 mg. twice a day, however in my own defense, I was under a great deal of stress, not a great time for the testing, needless to say. Lately, my husband who is my Primary Caregiver, (our 3 Sons live up North), says he noticed the decline, not that he’s a Professional. We are both Alcoholics, both in the AA Program for just over 5 years, and our lives have been wonderful, Very Grateful. He seems to think, and suggested that perhaps I need a caregiver a few times a week, to give Him a break, We both decided trying going to sepeate AA meetings which we do, and then do some together and feel that helps, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, please share what works for you all, and Thank You

  • 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 January 2, 2018

      Jocelyn

      My mom has been living with my husband and I since holy 3,2017. It is the toughest thing I have ever done.
      She is 92, uses a walker and short term memory is fading. Not sure dimentia or not. But willing to hear signs to watch out for
      I have 4 siblings that are non existent
      Having her here is so stressful but only option poss is board and care and I would and could never do that
      I recently went to a caring for the caregiver appointment and now have a social worker Durhbv that appt I took a quiz of sorts answering without pondering. 16 normal stress and I scored 48!!! She sent me to one on one counseling first appt I was diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. Next appt not for 30 days. What kind of help is that. I felt supported with a couple groups on Facebook but my sister found and read my posts like it was my diary. I felt so violated I since left them as they are not secure. I’m hoping to find support here

  • 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

      DailyCaring

      Thank you, Irene!

    • Reply May 19, 2019

      Russell Corbin

      I know its hard for caregivers..helping with ppl with dementia and such.my care is different i take care of my wife.who has fallen twice.breaking a femar in each leg but because of cemo they are not healing so i must do all the arrand most house work.and gro.shopping. I do have a home health care person 2days a week but it always seems i have apointments on these days.so i don’t really get to rest or recupp.12 hours a week is not much time to myself..also she is incontant so Meny pull up changes are needed

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