As a family caregiver, you have dedicated all or part of your life to support someone close to you. And while that can be rewarding, it can also be a little exhausting. It’s important to seek support when you need it to ensure that you are taking care of both your family member and yourself. Through support groups, you can find comfort, validation, advice, and a sense of community.
Any family caregiver looking for a support system should start by visiting the Family Caregiver Alliance website (FCA) for guidance. This organization’s website is an incredible resource for family caregivers and provides information about caregiving policies across all 50 states, advocacy groups, caregiver educational opportunities, and more. A series of e-newsletters from FCA and a prolific online caregiver group help you remain connected to others in your situation and provide an outlet for you to tell your story.
Other Family Caregiver Resources
In addition to the FCA, there are countless other resources available for family caregivers across the country. Read on to discover some of the most comprehensive places to find support and fellow caregiver communities.
The Eldercare Locator is a nationwide service that connects seniors and their caregivers with trustworthy, local support. Simply put in your city and you’ll find a number of resources in your area, including aging and independence services, state agencies, or elder law advocacy.
Aging in Place
Not only is Aging in Place a valuable resource for caregivers, but it also connects seniors and families to the information and support they need. The organization is dedicated to helping these individuals make the best decisions for their physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing by providing resources and a network of experts. Their most popular guides include the Complete Guide to In-Home Senior Care and A Complete Guide to Purchasing a Walk-In Bathtub.
Comfort Finders is a health news community that shares thousands of caregiver support groups throughout the country, including senior centers, hospitals, churches, and disease-specific organizations. Search by state on their website.
Ever feel like you just need to get something off your chest? eCareDiary provides open forums where caregivers can ask questions and respond to others, a Care Diary that makes it easier to manage and organize your caregiving life, and a host of resources. Whether you want further information, need to store medical records or create an online calendar, or just want to peek at what others are talking about, this website is a great resource.
While not an online forum, AgingCare.com has a number of caregiver support resources. Caregivers can select a topic, such as Emotional Wellbeing, Family and Relationships, or New to Caregiving, and find articles and guides on that topic. There are also some interesting Patient Perspectives which may help caregivers get more of an insight into the lives of those they care for.
In addition to the array of online support groups, there are also in-person support groups available in your area. MeetUp is a great website to connect like-minded individuals, including other family caregivers. Or, you can ask around at your family member’s outings, such as at church or at a doctor’s appointment. You never know what connections may be right in front of you.
As a caregiver, there are many resources available for both education and support. Just as it’s important to take care of your loved one’s health, it’s just as important to take care of yourself, as well.