Joining a support group is one of the most important things you can do for yourself as a caregiver. Support groups bring people together who face
similar issues. While not everyone wants or needs support beyond their circle of friends and family, many find it helpful to turn to others outside
this immediate circle of help. Here is a list of reasons why some attend a support group:
- It is the only place I could say and feel and people would understand and not make judgments.
- I learned new coping skills, as well as skills that helped me become a better caregiver.
- I made new friends during a time I seemed to be losing old ones. This “social” support helped me to feel part of a community and “not alone”.
- I learned that I can not do it alone.
- I was motivated by other members of the group. This gave me a sense of purpose.
- I discovered it is important to have some time for myself to do the things I wanted and NOT feel guilty about it.
- I learned about community resources available to me.
- I received emotional support from others.
- I learned how to problem solve.
A support group is a safe place where you can share your feelings. It also is a place where you can gain a sense of empowerment and control.
Receiving practical advice from others who share in your caregiver journey can help you in becoming “street smart”.
To locate a support group in your area, speak to your health care professional, use the internet, church, community center, contact a state or local
organization devoted to your care giving role. A support group can be a valuable tool to help you cope while providing valuable information as you care for a loved one.