Online and In-Person Support Groups for CaregiversNovember 24, 2022
Online and In-Person Support Groups for Caregivers of Elderly Parents
Caring for an elderly loved one can be difficult. Many caregivers completely alter their lives in order to look after their loved one and keep them safe. If you are struggling with this transition, you aren’t alone. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, about 38% of family caregivers rate their situation as highly stressful and 25% rate their situations as moderately stressful.
Joining a support group can help make this transition easier and provide you with additional resources. Whether you feel more comfortable talking with other caregivers in New Jersey or you want to connect with people in similar situations around the world, there is a group for you.
The benefits of in-person caregiver support groups
While online support groups can be more convenient, many caregivers have trouble finding out about all of their options or writing out their concerns. Because communication is the key to receiving the support you need, many people find it easier to participate in physical meetings.
Whereas people online may be on the other side of the country, the other benefit to in-person support groups is that you can meet local people with similar experiences. This can reduce feelings of isolation and help promote a sense of community.
Finding a local support group may seem overwhelming at first, but there are plenty of resources available to help you find one. The AARP Family Caregiver Resources for New Jersey page is a great place to start looking. The AARP operates throughout the country and has a resource page available for every state.
Another option is to start looking for local support groups that specialize in certain conditions. For example, caregivers who are helping their elderly parents with Alzheimer’s can find support groups led by trained leaders at the Alzheimer’s Association.
Here is a brief list of in-person support groups that focus on specific conditions:
- American Stroke Association
- American Cancer Society
- Parkinson’s Foundation
- Mental Health America
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
The benefits of online support groups for caregivers
For many caregivers, looking after their loved one has become a second full-time job. Adding an extra weekly meeting to their schedule can be difficult. If this is the case, online support groups can be a great way to find out about and get the resources you need. Because there is a wider variety of support groups for caregivers online, you will find a lot of flexibility. You will also find a wider range of specialized support groups when you search the internet.
Being anonymous online can also be beneficial if you prefer to keep your privacy. While you will need to be more mindful of misinformation online, you will have the freedom to say whatever you want in each group. You’ll also have the opportunity to communicate in a way that you feel comfortable. If you prefer connecting on social media or you want to anonymously post in an online forum, you will find an option online.
Private Facebook groups are a great option for caregivers to quickly receive online support. Facebook has thousands of support groups to choose from, many of which have private settings. That means only group members will see your posts and comments.
While there are several general caregiving groups on Facebook with thousands of active members, such as Caregiver Support Community, you’ll also find very specialized groups to join.
Additional Facebook support groups include:
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers Support Chat Group
- Caring for Elderly Parents
- Memory People
- All Hands on Deck
Other online support groups will offer multiple ways to connect. Working Daughter is a great example. This website offers several articles on caregiving and hosts a regular podcast. You can also connect with other working daughters caring for their parents in the Working Daughter Facebook group.
If you need more one-on-one support, there are also several online resources that can help. Resources like 7 Cups can be a good way to quickly connect with a therapist or a volunteer listener.
At the Atrium, we are committed to both providing peace of mind for any of our residents’ future health needs. Contact us to find out more about our senior health services in Red Bank, NJ.