It can be a difficult decision when you’re considering attending caregiver support group meetings. Some people worry that they’re a waste of time or that there’s nothing that they can get out of these meetings. But you might be surprised at just what a support group can do for your mental and emotional well-being.
Caregiving Is Isolating
Very often being a caregiver feels as if you’ve been dropped on a desert island all by yourself. There’s a lot to do and you do end up talking to people, but it’s almost always about something that your senior needs. This can leave you feeling as if you’re going to be stuck on that desert island forever. But a support group reminds you that you’re not alone.
Other Caregivers Can Become Friends
In fact, some of the other caregivers that you can meet at a caregiver support group might even become close friends of yours over time. When you share what’s going on with your small desert islands, a funny thing happens. Bridges and highways get built between them and there’s a lot more interaction than you had before. Those friendships can truly stand the test of time.
You Can Vent Safely
You might find that you don’t have anywhere to vent now. Even with friends and family members, you might feel as if sharing how you really feel on some days feels disloyal or makes other people judge you. When you vent with other caregivers, they fully understand what you’re saying. This isn’t about you not caring about your family member or not wanting to be a caregiver. It’s about needing to let off some steam now and again.
This Is a Perfect Space to Share What You’ve Learned
Believe it or not, there’s plenty that you’ve learned during your time as a caregiver. There are always going to be other caregivers who are just starting out and who haven’t learned the lessons you’ve learned. When you share your knowledge with them, you give them tremendous support but you also reaffirm to yourself that you know what you’re doing.
Even if all a caregiver support group is for you is an opportunity to get away for an hour or so a week, that can make it a useful experience for you. Do what you can to get the most out of the experience when you do decide to give it a chance.