As our loved ones age, we may run into difficult situations and be left without someone else to turn to. While some can rely on a good friend or a family member to seek solace, they may be unable to relate or fully empathize with your particular situation if they’ve never cared for the elderly before. The truth is, there won’t be many people who will be able to truly understand the challenges you face. Luckily, The few who have also experienced what you have can be easily found — on the internet.
Why you should join a support group
Caregivers who need some emotional encouragement can find it from online support groups. Some of the benefits that come with joining a group include reduced feelings of depression, isolation, and anxiety. Also, caregivers will feel more empowered to handle situations while gaining more experience and adapting to their ever-changing roles.
Support groups offer a safe space free from judgment where caregivers are free to share experiences, ask specific questions, and provide tips and tricks to help each other care for their loved ones. For some of us, just knowing that we aren’t alone in situations can give substantial emotional relief. At the same time, having peers who go through a similar experience as yourself can be enough to get you through a challenging situation or day.
And just like with everything else on the web, there’s a whole lot of support groups that you can join; just be sure that it can address all your needs. For example, caregivers who provide support to an older adult with dementia or an LGBT elderly can find a support group that caters to that community and their needs. These forums always enforce a respectful policy so anyone can talk confidentially and know they are in a safe place.
Where to join a support group
An online support group provides caregivers a place to connect and bond over their experiences. You’ll be able to find that such groups offer support for specific concerns as well as general caregiving. Here is a list of support groups that you may find useful:
While it may take some time to get used to support groups, you’ll eventually be able to open up and learn to share your experiences. And for people who have never joined a support group online, it may feel weird sharing your personal feelings with a few strangers, but you will soon see why this is a good thing. Because there are no shared trigger points or history to work with, there is less fear and judgment after saying how you truly feel.
Because of these reasons, participants can speak candidly and honestly compared to a close friend or family member. Furthermore, everybody in the group is deliberately there to find and offer support while also sharing common ground. For more details on online support groups or further information on senior living communities,visit our guide →