Being a caregiver is a lot of work and can be incredibly stressful and draining. Unfortunately, many caregivers do not show their struggles and fatigue, and they often feel guilty when they become upset or frustrated with their caregiver lifestyle. Most caregivers do not have a good support system, which exacerbates these problems. Fortunately, caregiver support groups are available all across the country, and they can help every caregiver through hard times.
What is a Caregiver Support Group?
A caregiver support group is a critical tool for all caregivers. These are groups that meet regularly to offer a forum of discussion and exchange for caregivers. These groups allow for the open and free exchange of information and ideas, as well as provide a safe and understanding space for caregivers to have their struggles and fears heard without harsh judgment.
Many caregiver support groups are tailored to a specific kind of illness, and some are even more specialized, serving a very specific type of caregiver. For example, one caregiver support group might be for anyone caring for a loved one with dementia, while another group may be tailored to husbands caring for wives with dementia. One group isn’t necessarily better than the other, they simply approach group care in different ways.
What are the benefits?
It’s a given that the main person intended to benefit from a caregiver support group is the caregiver. These groups provide a supportive, non-judgmental space for caregivers to seek help, vent their frustrations, and appreciate the fact that they are not alone in their struggles. Support groups are shown to diminish depression, mental and emotional issues associated with caregiving, feelings of isolation, and other serious concerns that come along with the caregiver lifestyle.
Caregiver support groups are also the perfect place to hear the stories of others, receive advice from those who have been caregiving for a long time, and obtain help with resources if you’re struggling in any way. According to the AARP, many caregivers that attend these support groups have stated that the group sessions are the only time they truly feel that their troubles are being heard and their struggles are being seen.
Caregivers aren’t the only ones to benefit from caregiver support groups, though. Loved ones that are being cared for rely on their caregiver for almost everything—advocation, in particular. A worn-down, burnt-out caregiver is not going to be a strong advocate for their loved one, which could lead to all sorts of problems that compound the stress on them.
Offering the caregiver a place where they can let go of their stress and receive helpful advice will help them to be more patient, more attentive, and more thoughtful of their loved ones. Ultimately, this means that the person who needs assistance will receive better care from their caregiver, and they will maintain a stronger relationship.
Is it better to go in person or meet online?
Whether you go in person or choose to join an online support group is entirely up to you. Thankfully, evidence shows that these groups are incredibly helpful both in person and online, so you won’t see diminished returns if you can’t make the time to go to an in-person group.
Ultimately, you should consider what you think you need and what your options are based on your circumstances and decide what’s best for you and your situation.
Contact Aging Benefits Advisory Today!
If you need help navigating the world of senior health insurance, our advisors at Aging Benefits Advisory are here to assist. Take advantage of our free consultation to ensure that you receive the plan for your budget and needs. We specialize in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, Dental, Vision, and Final Expense insurance for the senior market of Pinellas County, Pasco County, Manatee County, Hillsborough County, Polk County, Sarasota County, Citrus County, and Marion County, Florida. If you would like a free consultation, contact us online or give us a call at 727-800-4835. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.