Joining a Caregiver Support Group
Joining a support group can be a critical step in your caregiving journey. Many people have never been a part of one and equally many do not know what goes on in a support group. In this blog, we hope to explain some of that in hopes that you will participate in these important meetings. They can make a large difference for your mental health and your role as a caregiver.
First, what is a support group? The common definition of a support group is a meeting of people who share similar experiences and backgrounds and who provide one another with comfort, understanding, and advice.
We will elaborate on this definition as it relates to family caregiving:
Comfort: Being a caregiver is stressful. There is no other way to put it. When you are stressed, it helps to be listened to and to be heard. Most importantly, it helps when people show you compassion and comfort. Usually, people with similar backgrounds can empathize more fully and completely. Support groups provide you with like-minded people who will be there for you.
Caregiver Support Groups are Great Places to Learn About Resources
Resources: Support groups are also great places to learn about resources. Depending on the nature of your inquiry, counselors, group discussion leaders, or your peers can lead you in the right direction. The other part of knowledge is knowing where to find it. So, take advantage of the wisdom your peers and leaders can provide you. It can make a mountain of difference in your life as a caregiver.
Understanding: One of the aspects of a support group is that people are coming from similar experiences. You can have a relatively high level of confidence that the advice and feedback you are receiving is coming from a genuine place. Not only that, people will understand you when you speak to them. As trivial as this may sound, it is actually very significant. How many times have you wished that you can just express yourself to somebody who understands you? In support group, you are assured to find a level of understanding from other caregivers. You can also share your experiences with others to help them.
If you are interested in support groups in south Florida, please see the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center page for more information.