Being a caregiver for an older family member can be one of the most physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing roles you’ll ever take on. While there are certainly a lot of good things about being a caregiver, it still can leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. One way to deal with your feelings is to join a caregiver support group.
Kinds of Caregiver Support Groups
If you’re not sure a caregiver support group is right for you, you should know that there are many different kinds of groups available. You have lots of options to choose from, so it’s likely you can find one that is right for you. Some kinds of caregiver support groups are:
- Groups for Conditions: If you are a caregiver for a relative with a specific disease, you may be able to find a support group only for people who are also dealing with that disease. For example, there are caregiver support groups for ALS, Cancer, dementia, and more.
- Groups for Different Kinds of Caregivers: You can find groups that divide people according to certain demographics, such as people who are caregivers for their spouses, adult children who care for their parents, or LGBT support groups.
- Groups Led by Caregivers: Some support groups are led by the caregivers themselves. These are called peer-led support groups.
- Facilitated Support Groups: Other groups are led by someone trained to facilitate support groups, such as a social worker or clergy person.
- Online Groups: You can even find caregiver support groups that take place entirely online. They sometimes operate through message boards, allowing you to check in whenever your schedule allows.
Tips for Finding the Right Support Group for You
Finding a caregiver support group that works for you may take a bit of time and require you to try different options.
Here are some ideas for finding a group:
- Contact the local hospital or senior center to see if they can provide information about groups in your community.
- If you are looking for a condition specific group, try contacting an association for that condition. For example, the ALS Association has local chapters all over the country that can help caregivers for people with ALS to find a support group near them.
- Perform an online search using Google or Facebook. Search for “caregiver support groups” or “caregiver support network.”
Once you’ve located some groups to try, don’t feel like you have to stick with the first one you attend. If it doesn’t feel right to you, it isn’t likely to be effective. Try a few groups until you find the one that makes you feel comfortable sharing your own experiences and feelings.
If you are considering caregivers in Rocky River, OH, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Four Seasons Home Care today: (440) 716-9100.