Family caregiver support groups are important because they create connectedness with people who get each other because of their shared situations. Very often family caregivers get disconnected from many aspects of life because of the numerous responsibilities they juggle or because of caregiver burnout. They are great for providing social connection, emotional support, information, giving perspective to situations that can be highly emotive, helping you come to terms with your situation, helping you to cope with things in a realistic way amongst others.
There are different types of family caregiver support groups including:-
- Condition-specific caregiver groups: Ideal if you would like to be in a group that focuses on a single specific condition like a group that focuses on a specific type of cancer, rare disease, mental health or other condition. It could also be a support group that focuses on a category of similar conditions like a caregivers support group for cancer, rare diseases, mental health or other categories of related conditions. These support groups can also be for carers of people living with multiple health conditions.
- Family caregiver groups: The shared factor in this kind of group is that all members are caregivers and seek to journey with other family caregivers irrespective of the condition their care recipient has. This group is ideal for creating a support system that enables caregivers to give attention to the unique challenges caregivers face.
- Family support groups: These are groups made up of individual families or groups of families. The focus is on supporting and strengthening families as they explore the issues affecting them in the course of caring for one of their family members.
- Relationship-oriented groups: This type of group comprises of people who want support from others who can easily relate to their specific relationship with their care recipients. For example groups that comprise of only caregiver spouses, parents, siblings, children, grandparents, male caregivers or female caregivers amongst others.
- Online support groups: These are an option for caregivers who live in remote areas, struggle with little time for self-care, need flexibility of meeting time, face financial constraints that may come with hosting in-person meetings or other constraints like those created by Covid-19.