Caregivers need to be around other people who support them and either has been or is going through the same living arrangement. This is the definition of Support Groups. A caregiver is someone who is responsible for the care of someone who has poor mental health, physically disabled or whose health is impaired by sickness or old age. This per Wikipedia 1/2014 Support groups can provide a service of emotional release to the caregiver. This is vital for caregivers to be able to continue providing this stressful caring for any length of time. Thus caregivers need to research the support groups being offered in their residential area. Of importance is:
• Is this group for caregivers of people with a similar illness for needs?
• Is the group an educational or emotional support for the caregiver?
• Is the group closed to outsiders, such as student interns, writers and community drop-ins?
• How many are in the group?
• Does the time of the meetings, work for us with our current schedule?
These items are all important to get information and emotional support from the group. It is also, important to have a closed group if we want to feel safe in saying anything we want. If the group is larger than 12 it may be difficult to have an opportunity to speak or for those more timid it may feel overwhelming. Important: If necessary, can we take our charge with us to the meeting or is there an area set aside for others who are experiencing illness. In most cases the affected or ill person cannot nor would we want them to be in the meeting.
Support Groups are wonderful for those who are caregiving. It is a place where we can say what is on our mind without concern for retribution or offense. This is a time to just let go of all the pent up regrets and difficult times. Support groups allow us to relax.
If you are looking for a Support Group call your local hospital switchboard or the Social Work Department for the hospital.