Caring for an older loved one can be rewarding at times, and isolating and frustrating other times. The toll caregiving takes on families can be significant. It is especially true during the hectic holiday season.
Family caregivers are often so overwhelmed with the tasks on their daily “To Do” list that they neglect their own physical and mental well-being. Doing so can come at a high cost.
According to the National Center on Caregiving, between 40% and 70% of family caregivers self-report experiencing symptoms of depression. They are also more likely to experience other health issues such as high blood pressure, back injuries and chronic headaches.
Caregivers like you may feel alone in dealing with the demands of the role. It might seem as if no one understands the challenges you face each day, especially if you’re juggling a career and kids of your own.
This is where an online support group for caregivers can be of help.
The Role Online Support Groups Play for Caregivers
Before the Internet, support groups met face-to-face in senior living communities, churches, libraries and other community locations throughout Seattle. Today’s technology allows family caregivers from all over the world connect and support one another. These online forums can be a lifeline for caregivers.
Connecting with a support group of peers who understand the challenges, rewards, highs and lows of caregiving can help you manage feelings of sadness and stress.
They also allow families to talk through their struggles and hear how others have handled them. For example, you could ask fellow support group members how they manage nutrition for a loved one with Alzheimer’s who has difficulty manipulating utensil or what to do when an aging parent refuses to stop driving.
Helping Seattle Caregivers Connect to Online Support Groups
How can a Seattle family caregiver like yourself connect with an online peer group you feel comfortable with?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Caregiver Connect: The Family Caregiver Alliance has a variety of resources. One of which is a place for caregivers to connect and offer support to one another.
- Caring.com: Here you will find a variety caregiver support groups ranging from Caring for a Spouse to Parkinson’s Support.
- ALZConnected: If you are caring for an older adult with Alzheimer’s, you face unique challenges. This is why the Alzheimer’s Association created ALZ Connected. Included here you will find message boards and chat rooms that allow you to connect with other dementia caregivers.
While it might take time to get to know and trust fellow support group members, doing so can help you find solutions and feel less alone.
More Resources for Seattle Caregivers
For more helpful caregiving resources, we invite you to spend time in our Care & Caregiving resource center. We share information and resources to help family caregivers feel more confident in the role they play in an older adult’s life and wellness.