Are you struggling with your role as a caregiver? Perhaps you sometimes feel sad, frustrated, or even angry about the responsibilities added to your life by having to care for a senior parent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 21 percent of households are affected by caregiving duties. Of the 34 million caregivers in the United States, 35 percent say they have trouble finding time for themselves, 29 percent report having difficulty balancing work and family, and 29 percent experience issues with managing physical and emotional stress. With statistics like these, it’s not surprising that support groups for caregivers have sprung up around the nation. If you’ve never considered joining a caregiver support group, here are 5 reasons you may want to check one out.
#1 Support Groups Provide a Safe Place to Express Your Emotions
Support groups allow you an outlet for your emotions where people won’t judge you. It’s okay for you to say that you sometimes get angry at your parent or that having to help them dress makes you sad. Other people in the group will have experienced the same emotions. It may be hard for you to share your feelings at first, but it’s okay to just listen and to share only as you feel comfortable. The more you get to know those in your group, the more comfortable you’ll become.
#2 Other Caregivers Can Give You Advice
There’s no one better to provide tips and advice about being a caregiver than those who are in the trenches doing the job. If you’re struggling with a particular issue, there may be someone in your support group who had the same problem and came up with a creative solution that you might not have thought of.
#3 You’ll Make New Friends
Sharing a common experience and being open about emotions can forge fast friendships. In difficult times, sometimes there’s nothing better than a new friendship to take the focus off of the tough stuff and put it on getting to know someone you enjoy spending time with. You may find yourself doing things with members of your support group like going to restaurants, movies, or other social outings.
#4 You’ll Widen Your Own Support System
Some days you just need a little extra help. You may be able to call on new friends from your support group to help you out with small tasks. If something comes up and you need someone to sit with your parent for a few minutes, there may be someone in your support group who can help out on short notice.
#5 Your Support Group Will “Get It”
Sometimes when you try to tell someone about the frustrations of being a caregiver, they won’t understand your feelings because they’ve never been in your shoes. However, people in your support group will “get it” because they’ve been there, too. Having someone to talk to that understands can remind you that you’re not alone.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from caregiver services in Concord, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.