That's why caregiver support groups are helpful. They’re filled with people in similar situations. Being able to talk with others who truly understand what you’re going through reduces stress, validates your experience, and gives connection and support.
One of the main benefits of caregiver support groups is that they provide much-needed social support. This is especially important when family and friends aren’t supportive.
Support group members validate each other’s experiences. It’s a relief to know that what you’re going through is normal and that you’re not the only one with these feelings – negative or positive.
Support groups are also a great place to ask for advice, find out about useful resources, or vent frustrations. You won’t have to worry about judgment or confusion from non-caregivers since everyone is going through similar struggles.
There are many benefits to a caregiver support group. Such as:
- Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
- Reducing depression, anxiety, or distress
- Gaining a sense of empowerment and control
- Getting advice or information about practical solutions or treatment options
- Improving or learning healthy coping skills
- Getting a better understanding of what to expect in the future
- Improving caregiving skills and giving a better quality of life to your older adult
- Learning about ways to keep your older adult at home longer
Those are the positives. On the negative side, it can be difficult to attend these meetings when you are caring for a loved one. You can only stretch your day so much! You have to find the time in your day or find someone willing to stay with your loved one - which, let's face it - isn't always easy. So how do you manage?
Isn't the internet wonderful? Online support is available anytime you need it. Even here at Ruby Pardue Blackburn Adult Day Health Care, we have an online support group available. It's available through Facebook, it's a closed group which means you have to ask to join or be recommended to join. That way it's private. What is said there, stays there. It's called Diamonds of Dementia. Please join us!
As the similarity of diamonds being hard and cutting like dementia sufferers can be, so too is the caregiver who goes through the chaos of dementia. A diamond is a chunk of coal that stood up really well under pressure. Just like you do for your loved one.
Any caregiver who’s felt stressed, confused, overwhelmed, depressed, or burned out would benefit from a caregiver support group. Studies have shown that support groups have a significant positive effect on caregivers’ well-being, depression, and feeling of burden.
If you are a caregiver for a loved one with dementia, you need support - if not with us, find it somewhere. Enter your zip code in the Eldercare Locator to find the Area Agency on Aging for your area. Call and ask about support groups offered by local organizations. Support can be a click away!