Caregivers Need Support Groups

March 14, 2016

Learning about being a caregiver and dealing with a parent’s or spouse’s care at the same time can be overwhelming. There are many sources online and books to read, but there is nothing like being able to pick up the phone or meet someone who can share advice and support during such a challenging time. Many caregivers try to bare the burden themselves instead of reaching out to those that can provide the best support. Those juggling work, kids or daily life may feel they don’t have the time or energy to devote to another time consuming meeting. However, meeting people in the same situation as yourself is the best way to address your issues and discover you are not the only one dealing with them. Here are some of the benefits of support groups.

First, when you meet the right group, the chemistry will click and you will feel like family. You will share a common struggle with these people. Sometimes your other family members or siblings will withdraw from care for different reasons. The support group will have dealt with the same issues and understand about the brother that doesn’t visit or the sister that can’t deal with it. Secondly, the folks that are dealing with caregiving daily will be able to teach you more. Caregivers are learning more and more about treating dementia and what works and doesn’t work. They will help prepare you to cope and deal with different situations as well as the better questions to ask of the medical team caring for your loved one. Additionally, you will feel strength and support from the people in the same shoes as you. Often people find it difficult to visit people who might not respond as expected. This can make it very lonely for a caregiver, but the support group will understand your frustration and motivate you to provide better care. Lastly, enjoy the opportunities that may present themselves as you grow closer to your new support family. As you make friends, you can meet for lunch or coffee outside of the support group. You might be able to help share holidays together. You can learn to embrace the differences and learn new traditions and share happy moments.

There are many support groups out there, not just ones for dementia. People also meet with various diseases or illnesses and learn more about coping and other treatments that might be available. There are many places to get support even if you can’t find a local group to meet. There are groups on Skype, Google or Zoom. With the online groups, you can even get an international perspective.
Do you need an in home care giver for a loved one?
Acorn serves Chapel Hill, Durham, Hillsborough, Pittsboro and other towns in the Triangle area.

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