Caregiving can impact every facet of your life and cause enormous stress. You may be your parent’s sole caregiver, helping them with housework, transportation, dressing, and hygiene. On the other hand, caregiving may be as simple as calling mom or dad a couple of times a week at their residence in an assisted living community. No matter how time-consuming or easy your caregiving responsibilities, it’s always a good idea to become involved with a caregiver support group.
Why Join a Caregiver Support Group?
Caregiver support or self-help groups can benefit you and your loved one in the following ways:
- Advice. People who’ve been there know the answers even if you’re not sure how to frame the questions.
- Validation. Communicating with others in the same situation can help validate your experiences. Sure, they’re there with advice, but they’re also there so you can vent if Mom calls to remind you to pick up her prescription for the umpteenth time that day. Emotional support helps keep you healthy and makes you a better caregiver.
- Empowerment. Self-help groups can not only give you advice to help you resolve a problem, they encourage you.
- Future perspective. By talking to people who’ve already been in your position and moved on, you gain perspective on future choices you may have and future decisions you may have to make.
- Socialization. Interacting with others helps make you feel less lonely and isolated.
- Warnings. Other caregivers may spot problems with your parent or signs of problems you may be experiencing before you even realize it.
- Relationships. Many people who join these groups develop relationships with other members and become friends. You can never have enough friends.
- Better care. All this helps you become a better caregiver.
How to Find a Caregiver Support Group
There are two types of support groups—local and online:
Local Caregiver Support Groups
- Your local hospital will frequently sponsor self-help or similar groups or have a list of them.
- Community centers may have flyers with lists of local groups.
- Your local Area Agency on Aging is likely to have information on local support groups. Enter your zip code in the Eldercare Locator to find the Area Agency on Aging for your city.
- Many national associations have local chapters. If you don’t know of one in your city, you can search for one related to a specific condition. Some websites with local group information include:
Online Caregiver Support Groups
- Family Caregiver Alliance offers online and local support groups.
- Caregiver Action Network
- Veterans Administration
- AARP has an online caregiving forum.
- Facebook has a Caregiver Support Group, as well as numerous others for various types of caregivers whose loved ones have various needs. Just search under the terms “caregiver”, “caregiving” or your loved one’s condition.
We Make Your Caregiving Easier
The mission of The Arbors Assisted Living Residential Communities is “to enhance the quality of life for our residents through genuine care and comfort”. Our goals include making the lives of residents’ families easier by taking care of the minutiae of daily life so you can enjoy every minute of your time with them.
As the daughter of one Stoneham resident told us, “I sleep so much better at night knowing my mom is at The Arbors.”
In addition to making your life easier, we want to be your resource for questions about your loved one. If you have questions about how The Arbors can help your parent stay healthy and live an independent, fulfilling life, please contact us online or call one of our communities.