Why Support Groups are ImportantJanuary 23, 2020 | Caregiver Stories, Caregivers in the Workforce, Grief, Isolation, Respite Care
Support groups can be helpful if you are facing a major setback in life, or if you are grieving the loss of a loved one. It is important that you do not go through it alone.
Studies have shown the impact on caregivers can be detrimental when they are burnt out and could potentially be costly. There are plenty of stress factors that caregivers sometimes face such as burn out, financial hardship, and more.
It is important for caregivers to share their burdens and voice out their feelings to avoid burn out and the stress that comes with taking care of another individual. Joining groups that offer support is a form of respite care that caregivers should take advantage of.
“Belonging to a problem solving support group while caring for my mother who had dementia was a life saver. By the time I found the group, our family was in crisis. The Caregiver Support Group was able to connect with expert help and advice from the group facilitators, learn from fellow caregivers ‘in the trenches’ and have an hour a week to relax and restore my sense of perspective.
Within the group I learned tested methods and techniques that help smooth my mother’s day and her care. I was able to communicate my needs to my family and employer – to everyone’s benefit. The Caregiver Support Group grew to be a valued care partner. In return, I was honored to offer my insights, experience, and empathy to other members.
I cannot recommend strongly enough that caregivers find a supportive group and that their employers give them the flexibility to make attendance a priority in their life. I think being a member in the Caregiver Support Group was the reason I could care for my mother for 7 years.
I am profoundly grateful to the Sanford Center for Aging and to the University of Nevada, Reno. Caring for my mother, while challenging and sometimes heartbreaking, is one of the most cherished periods of my life. Having done so, with help from the caregiver support group, gives me and my family great satisfaction.” – Margaret Stewart, former family caregiver
Joining support groups can get you the help you need by making connections with people who can empathize and provide the healthy emotional support that you need. Support groups can be an opportunity for you to learn other people’s coping techniques, and a platform for you to share what you are going through.
Joining groups can also be very beneficial. Being a part of a group offers a safe sanctuary for you and others to help one another because of the commonality you already share.
According to an article, the benefits of joining a group include:
- Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
- Reducing distress, depression, anxiety or fatigue
- Talking openly and honestly about your feelings
- Improving skills to cope with challenges
- Staying motivated to manage chronic conditions or stick to treatment plans
- Gaining a sense of empowerment, control or hope
- Improving understanding of a disease and your own experience with it
- Getting practical feedback about treatment options
- Learning about health, economic or social resources
We understand the importance of support groups, and highly encourage for you to seek help when needed. There are many different forms of support groups such as general support groups, bereavement support groups, and more. WashoeCaregivers.org lists 13 providers that offer support groups. Learn more here.