As the primary caregiver for my father, I find myself more than a little overwhelmed much of the time. Part of the time my stress is tied to not feeling like I’m doing a very good job juggling all of my roles: daughter, wife, mother, caregiver, and employee.
Other times I worry that I can’t keep up with all of my dad’s doctor appointments, prescriptions, and medical tests. It keeps me awake at night thinking I’ve missed an appointment or have forgotten to follow up on something important.
One of my coworkers suggested that I join a caregiver support group. I know my church has one that meets several times a month. While it sounds like a great idea, in all honesty, there is no way I can fit anything else into my busy schedule.
I’m wondering if there is any value to be found in online caregiver support groups?
Any advice you can offer and any suggestions that might help me connect with a caregivers support group online would be very much appreciated.
Finding an Online Senior Caregiver Support Group
It sounds like you are one of the 44 million family caregivers in this country. Like you, almost 75% of family caregivers are sandwiched between a career, a family, and an aging parent’s needs. It is a juggling act that can leave people exhausted and in need of support.
Family caregivers often find support in the form of a group of peers experiencing similar struggles. They can share time management tips, advice on how to talk with a boss about time off for caregiving, or just lend a sympathetic ear when you are feeling weary.
When time is in short supply or when a family caregiver lives in a rural area, connecting with one of the many online caregiver support groups might be the ideal solution.
How can you find an online caregiver support group you feel comfortable joining?
We have a few suggestions:
- Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA): FCA provides caregivers a variety of resources, including Smart Patients Caregivers Community. It is a program designed to make it easier for caregivers to connect with fellow caregivers online.
- ALZConnected: This online Alzheimer’s support resource was created by the Alzheimer’s Association. It has resources for those with Alzheimer’s and a separate area for those who provide care to loved ones with the disease.
- The Caregiver Space: If you are a fan of Facebook, you might find this Facebook group appealing. This online caregiver community is open to caregivers of all types.
My final suggestion is to remember that in-home care providers are available for respite services. Professional caregivers can assist with tasks ranging from grocery shopping to transportation and personal care. It can be very helpful for sandwich generation caregivers like you.