Understanding Online Caregiver Support Communities
The aging experts at the Mayo Clinic researched the benefits caregivers receive from joining an online community. They discovered there are a variety of reasons to sign on including:
- A place to share their feelings with a non-judgmental audience. The fear and resentment caregivers sometimes experience can create an enormous amount of guilt. In talking with their peers, they realize these difficult emotions are a normal part of managing the demanding role of caregiver.
- The convenience of being able to log on early in the morning or late at night when they are free is another big advantage. Making it to a scheduled support group meeting at a church or senior living community is just not possible for many caregivers.
- The empathy and understanding that come from sharing your struggles with people who are walking a similar path are enormous. Being able to share their fears about a senior loved one’s difficult Alzheimer’s behavior or the frustration they feel when siblings don’t help care for their aging parent with others who are experiencing the same challenges can help tremendously.
Finding Caregiver Support Groups Online
Fortunately, there are an ever-increasing number of support groups that are well established online. Some are organized by geography and others by the health condition the care recipient has. Here are a few good places to begin your search for an online support group:
- Family Caregiver Alliance consistently receives high marks from caregivers. They are a part of the National Center on Caregiving. A visit to their site can help you connect with a group that is a good fit for your needs.
- SupportGroups.com has a broad range of groups you can join. They are organized around individual needs and diagnoses. Caregivers and care recipients can find a group for almost every type of support imaginable from cancer and chemotherapy struggles to Alzheimer’s.
- Caring.com is another great resource for caregivers. Their site is home to consumer reviews, articles, and guides to help with senior care and health care education, as well as support groups.
- AgingCare.com also focuses on education for caregivers of senior loved ones. They have a variety of articles, guides, and forums that provide adult children and family caregivers the opportunity to find answers to their senior care related questions. The site also hosts support groups that connect caregivers with their peers.
We hope these resources provide you with an avenue for support during the winter months and all year long. Contact us for more information about how we can help you.