Caregiver Support Groups – When The Caregiver Needs Some TLC
Caregiver support groups provide a vital function today.
Informal caregiving is widespread throughout the country. According to recent statistics, there are over 34 million Americans providing unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older. And roughly half of those caregivers are tending to someone with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
Without informal caregivers the healthcare system would literally buckle under the case load. But what is becoming more and more critical is the emotional and physical state of these unpaid caregivers. Are they getting the care they need to keep on keeping on?
The issue is so common that Caregiver Support Groups have sprung up to provide an outlet for these unsung heroes.
The caregiver support groups provide caregivers with an outlet to express their needs and to be heard. There are online groups that can be a true lifeline, especially during these pandemic times when going out to in-person meetings is not only challenging but could be life-threatening. Sometimes, just being able to talk with someone else who really understands what you’re going through reduces enough stress, provides much-welcome validation and gives a connection to help you carry on. Many local hospitals also provide in person support groups.
Along with helping you feel less lonely, isolated or judged, caregiver support could help you improve or learn healthy coping skills, give you a better understanding of what to expect in the future, as well as reduce depression, anxiety or distress.
One way to find groups in your area is to enter your zip code in the Eldercare Locator to find the Area Agency on Aging for your area. Call and ask about support groups offered by local organizations.