Caregiving is stressful for most people. Taking care of another person can be exhausting and demanding, especially if you don’t have any support from your family.
Stress can lead to bad emotional, mental, and physical health. It causes all sorts of cardiovascular problems and can even be the reason for depression symptoms. On top of that, it can also impact your relationships with other people.
One of the ways to connect with people who understand you and find a way to release the stress is a caregiver support group. These groups consist of other caregivers who have the same problems as you, and there is no better place to ask for advice.
However, what if you tried to find a caregiver support group, found one, went to a meeting, but it wasn’t the thing you were looking for?
Should you give up on these groups and continue to fight on your own, or perhaps try to find another one? Although your first experience wasn’t perfect, don’t give up all hope. Every group is different, and perhaps the next one will be exactly what you need.
Don’t Give Up the First Time
You went to a meeting, but something just wasn’t right. You didn’t like the people, the topics, the place. The first impression wasn’t great, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give the group another chance. Perhaps the combination of people will be better next time, or they will cover a topic more relevant to your situation. In caregiver support groups, people come and go all the time, and meetings differ from one another. Give it a chance one more time, and you may change your opinion.
Find Another Support Group
The number of support groups is increasing. If you don’t fit into one group, it doesn’t mean the others are not for you. You can try several different groups to see which one would be perfect. Since there are so many groups, some of them are specialized for certain conditions. Thus, there are dementia caregiver groups, groups focused on cardiovascular problems, strokes, etc. If you search a bit more, you may even find groups focused on dealing with the stress of being a caregiver.
If you are not sure where to find a caregiver support group, ask at a local hospital, caregiver agency, senior care facility, etc.
Online Caregiver Groups
You may prefer finding online support groups and asking for advice there. If you want to stay anonymous and avoid meeting other people, then this is the perfect way to get in touch with caregivers in a similar situation as you are. Facebook is a place to start. You may have heard of Memory People on Facebook, which is one of the most popular groups of this kind. The members are usually caregivers who are taking care of family members who have memory problems (dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc.). And this group is not the only one. There are numerous groups, you just need to do a little research.
Not the Group Type?
Perhaps you prefer not to be a member of any group, but you still need someone to advise you. If you need a person to talk to, try to find a therapist who can help you channel your stress. Religious people may talk to their local priest, rabbi, etc. Social workers can sometimes help, as well. The best would be to find a friend or a family member you can trust and who can listen to you without judging your actions.
All in all, you should not be alone in caregiving. You can accumulate so much stress and not be able to handle it on your own. It is up to you to choose your way of dealing with it.