Help! Caring for My Parents is Making Me Miserable
Answer: Turning to a caregiver support group as a source of emotional support can help family members feel less alone and improve their ability to deal with the uncertainties eldercare brings, according to Joy Loverde in Will a Support Group Really Help?
Family caregivers say that the number one reason why they do not attend support groups is that they can't find the time. That's certainly understandable. Most of us are being pulled in a hundred different directions -- between our children, job responsibilities, relationships, personal commitments, and the aged one who is relying upon us for attention and assistance. Prioritizing our to-do list, in order of importance, is the key to "finding" time. Consequently, the decision to attend a caregiver support group is based on making an investment -- in your own well-being. It's a choice we all can make, and you are worth every minute.
So what goes on in these meetings? Simply put, individuals who are facing similar eldercare challenges come together in a confidential atmosphere to share their experiences, gain perspective, offer and receive advice, and feel the profound comfort derived from being around others who know exactly what they're going through. When you sit down with other caregivers who have shared your experience, you feel a sense of closeness and connection. The camaraderie, laughter and tears that take place in a group setting help banish feelings of isolation. Support groups are empowering, yet comforting. People ask how you are. You come away feeling: I am not alone.