5 Types of Caregiver Support Groups

Caregiver support groups can help reduce stress and anxiety.

Caregiver support groups provide caregivers with an opportunity to openly discuss their personal issues and feel less lonely. Many caregivers find connecting with others who are going through a similar experience supplies a path to healing. Support groups are an opportunity to make friends, learn about health care options, and reduce stress.

Support groups are great because one of the many issues caregivers face is finding it difficult to discuss problems openly. For example, they may feel family members judge them. Connecting with others with relative anonymity can help to alleviate feelings of isolation and distress. Consider discussing your problems with a personal counselor and finding caregiver support groups that meet your needs.

Different Types of Caregiver Support Groups

To find the support you need, ask others for recommendations. Your primary care physician could be a resource. Others find suggestions through disease specialists, faith institutions, or personal contacts. There are many different types of support groups available.

Types of caregiver support groups:

  • Condition-specific support groups
  • Caregiver-focused groups
  • Online support groups

Specialists often recommend condition-specific groups. There could be a group for caregivers of loved ones with cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, ALS, or muscular dystrophy in your area. When information and struggles are shared, insight and relief follow.

Others choose caregiver-focused groups. This could be caregiver groups for military families or a particular age group. Sometimes, a combination of two types of caregiver support groups is an option. For example, if you are under 40 years old and care for a spouse with early-onset Parkinson’s, you may find a group that fits both your age and the condition. 

Accepting Help When It’s Available

It is common for caregivers to initially be reluctant to join a support group or reach out to a personal counselor. Sometimes it is because a person doesn’t want to admit they need help, but it is important to remember that everyone can use help from time to time. Even if you feel you are sustaining as a caregiver right now, if you anticipate being a caregiver for months or years, creating a support system today could be lifesaving when should things become difficult.

When you are uncertain of what group might work for you, consider discussing your concerns with a counselor or doctor. And keep an open mind when invites arise. Even if the group isn’t a perfect fit, maybe it is the right one for right now. For instance, even if you are not receiving treatments at a particular hospital, you may find a group there that welcomes you. Maybe the people in the group have a lot of knowlege on how to navigate the medical system. Or manage the financial strain of caregiving.

Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.

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