Guest ContributorsLatest News

9 Reasons To Join A Caregiver Support Group

9 Reasons To Join A Caregiver Support Group

Guest Contributor:
Emily Henry


As a caregiver to an older parent or loved one, you’re balancing your own life and responsibilities with that of caring for that person’s needs. It can take a toll on anyone, and many carers report feeling isolated and stressed while doing so.

Caregiver Support Groups

That’s why it’s so important to look into care support groups. These are groups of people who are in similar positions to your own, and can help you through the tough times as you care for your loved one. There are lots of reasons why these groups are beneficial. Here are a few reasons why you should join your local group today.

1 Get Emotional Support

This is one of the most important things carers get from their support groups. While caring is rewarding, it’s also highly draining. If you’re caring for someone with health concerns, or physical or mental limitations, then you’ll find that it is taking its toll on you.

It’s so easy to bottle up your feelings, as you feel as though you can’t vent about your experiences. That’s where a carer support group comes in. When you are able to talk through your experiences with others in the same position, it will help you get the emotional release you need.

It also helps as the people in the group understand what you’re going through. People who aren’t carers often won’t quite understand what you’re struggling with, so it’s always helpful to get the perspective of others who do.

2 Reduce Social Isolation

As a carer, there’s no denying that you just don’t have the spare time that you used to. As you’re spending more of your time caring for your loved one, it’s easy to start to feel isolated from others. This can have a serious impact on both your mental and physical health, so it’s vital that you look to find others that can relate to your current situation.

Joining a caregiver support group means that you’ll find other people that are living with the same constraints on their time. When everyone is in similar positions, it’s a lot easier to make friends and connect with others. After all, if an emergency comes up and you can’t come to a gathering, they are going to be supportive.

Being part of that group will help you feel connected to others, even though you’ve had to make sacrifices elsewhere. It’s more important than you’d think.

Consider joining a Memory Cafe to enjoy an outing with your loved one in a dementia-friendly environment. You may realize considerable value by sharing time with others having the same experiences.

3 Improve Quality Of Life

As a caregiver, it’s easy to think more about the person you’re caring for than yourself. You’re worrying so much about their needs that you just don’t think about your own. You can’t keep doing this in the long run, as it will lead to burnout.

Available on Amazon

Many people will recommend the concept of putting on your own mask before helping others with theirs, and the same applies here. If you’re looking to be the best carer possible, you need to take care of your own needs. You can do this by joining a support group, and getting energy and better quality of life through your contact with them.

4 Get Practical Advice

There’s no denying that caring for an older person is a challenge. It’s especially so if that person is living with certain health issues. Unless you have specific medical experience, you’ll find it difficult to cope with some of the challenges.

Being part of a caregiver group can help a lot, as you have several people who are going through similar things. Because of this, you can pick their brains and get some great practical advice. They may have ideas for ways to help calm the people they care for when they’re upset, links to helplines you can use, or even details about events you can go to. They’re often an excellent source of support in this way.

5 Recharge Your Batteries

Many caregivers feel guilty if they take time for themselves. If they do get away for an hour or two, they feel as though they’re ‘sneaking away’ and aren’t fulfilling their responsibilities. Again though, you can’t be an effective carer if you aren’t taking care of yourself, too.

Many carers like to go to support group meetings as it gives them little bit of respite that they’re looking for, without worrying about taking that time for themselves. You can take advantage of that time to really recharge, and go back to caring for your loved one feeling refreshed.

6 Regain A Sense Of Control

As a caregiver, there’s a lot that’s actually out of your control. If your loved one is living with a physical illness for example, you can help with medications and doctors’ appointments, but you can’t control the illness itself. This is upsetting for many carers, as they’re trying their best but they just can’t control these aspects.

Available on Amazon

That’s why it’s so important to join a support group. The people in your group will be able to help you make sense of what’s happening in your life, and accept the things you can’t change. While there are plenty of things you can’t control, there are lots more things that you can.

7 Vent In A Judgement Free Zone

When you’re caring for a loved one, it’s hard to know where to vent about the things that are upsetting you. You may be dealing with an array of negative emotions, and you don’t feel that you can talk to other people in your life about them.

If you’re part of a support group, you can take those negative emotions to them. They will help you by listening to you without judgement. Most of the people in the group will probably have felt, or are feeling similar things too. Because of this, you know you’re safe to talk about anything you need to here.

8 Find New Friends

As you started caring for an older loved one, you probably noticed that some of your friends dropped off. That does hurt, as you thought you were close until you took on a caregiver role. That helps contribute to the feelings of isolation you may have.

In a support group, you’re going to find plenty of people who are in the same situation as you. Because of this, you’ll have the opportunity to make new friends here. These will be friends who will understand what you’re going through, and so you can form some strong bonds here.

9 Provide Support To Others

When you’re part of a caregiver support group, as well as gaining all the benefits listed here, you’ll also be able to give support to others in the group. You may have useful practical advice that the others didn’t know about, or you can be a great shoulder to lean on when a member is feeling burned out or emotionally exhausted. As you’re a caregiver, you already get a lot out of offering support to others. You can offer that support in your group, and get it back in return.

There are so many reasons why you may want to join a caregiver’s support group. These are just some of the most popular reason why carers seek these groups out. Find a group in your local area, and you’ll soon start to see the benefits of joining.

Emily Henry

Emily Henry on Memory Cafe Directory
Emily Henry

Emily Henry is a writer who focuses on caregivers and the work they do. She writes for Essay Roo and Research Paper Writing, as well as editing for English assignment help.






[modular_content id=”9754″]