Acting as the primary caregiver for an elderly loved one is a challenging job. While you might be reticent to reach out for assistance, joining a caregiving support group can actually increase the quality of care you provide. Making a concerted effort to connect with other, like-minded individuals will increase your life quality and the life quality of the person that you are responsible for.
If you provide care for an aging parent or loved one but are not sure if joining a local support group is right for you, Home Care Assistance Sonoma County provides five reasons why we like to recommend support groups to our clients:
- Identify and Address Difficult Emotions – People who devote most of their time and attention to aging loved ones often experience a complex array of emotions. Fear, regret, resentment and other feelings may not show themselves in your day to day life, but they will have a definite impact on it. Finding out that you are not alone can be refreshing. A support group will give you the opportunity to share these feelings and to learn new stress-reduction techniques along with strategies for maintaining a positive outlook.
- Learn How to Balance Your Responsibilities – Many of the caregivers who join these groups find that they are shouldering too much responsibility on their own. Support groups are great places for discovering new resources and alternative strategies for creating a comprehensive care plan for a loved one without feeling overburdened.
- Make New Friends – These are often communities of people who value family and familial responsibilities over all else. This makes these groups the ideal place for connecting with those who share the same ideals, struggles and goals.
- Increased Accessibility – These meetings are far more accessible and convenient than they have ever been in the past. In addition to groups that meet at physical locations, there are also a number of virtual communities that offer the same sense of camaraderie and diverse array of benefits. Many online support groups are tailored to specific types of care such as care for advanced conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or stroke care.
- Find New Answers – The best caregiving support groups also serve as knowledge sharing communities. All of the tips and tricks that you have learned while caring for your loved one can be shared with group members. You can learn about new research and medications, get recommendations for local doctors and more.
Ultimately, support groups will allow you to significantly expand your caregiving skills and abilities while connecting with a wealth of new resources.
In addition to support groups, there are other options that can provide you with assistance such as in-home care. It is important that you know that you are not alone in this journey and help is available. Call Home Care Assistance Sonoma County at 707-843-4368 to request more information about our Sonoma County respite care and live-in care plans and find out how our caregivers can provide additional support for you and your loved one.