While caring for a senior has its moments, the life of a caregiver can be stressful, if not downright daunting. Between making sure that your senior loved one is safe, comfortable, and cared for, your own well-being can suffer on the back-burner. And if those around you, especially family and friends don’t get what you are going through, this can leave you feeling even more disconnected and isolated.
Luckily, that’s where joining a caregiver support group can come in especially handy. This is a haven where you can share your frustrations freely, meet people who truly understand your situation, and get handy tips on how to cope.
Today, we are going to walk you through 4 tips on how to find a good match in a caregiver support group because not all of them are created equal.
First Things First: What are the Benefits of Joining a Caregiver Support Group?
Just like any support network out there, caregiver support groups do offer a myriad of benefits that include:
- Learning about local caregiver resources
- Ability to air your frustrations and feelings freely
- Being able to talk to people who are “sailing on the same boat”
- Can help you cope, and keep the feeling of isolation at bay
How to Choose a Caregiver Support Group
Tip #1: Try Several Different Groups
There are a ton of support groups out there, with some focusing on a certain type of caregivers. So, get a list of all caregiver support groups in your area from senior care facilities, local hospitals, and whatnot. And the trick is to check out as many as possible on that list. This way, you’ll boost your odds of finding a group that best matches your needs and personality.
The good thing is that there are many options to consider, including groups for adult children caring for their parents, stress management groups, and those geared towards specific medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, etc.
Tip #2: Try a Group at Least Twice
What if you don’t like a particular on your first try? It doesn’t hurt to try it a second time. If you’re patient enough, the third time’s a charm.
Tip #3: Give Online Caregiver Support Groups a Try
There is a raft of wonderful support groups online geared towards caregivers, especially on Facebook. Despite not being able to meet face-to-face, support groups on different social media platforms can be of immense help.
Tip #4: Seek One-On-One Support from Someone You Can Trust
If you are not fond of group settings, finding a confidante you can feel comfortable sharing with can do wonders for your well-being. It’s crucial, however, that you choose a person who can truly understand what you’re going through, actively listen to what you have to say, and offer sound advice. A trusted family member, therapist or a church leader can suffice.
Being a caregiver comes with its own share of ups and downs. Be sure to join the right group to get the right help, connection and support you need.