There are many different types of support groups available to caregivers, but they generally fall into two categories: community support groups and internet support groups. Health resource provider Helpguide.org provides a handy list of the benefits of each:
Community Support Groups
In community support groups, people living near each other meet in a given place each week or month. Find a local support group through the resources below or start your own. Download this how to guide from the Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center.
Benefits of community support groups:
- You get face-to-face contact and a chance to make new friends who live near you.
- The meetings get you out of the house and provide a social outlet.
- Meetings are at a set time and place.
- Since the people in the support group are from your area, they'll be more familiar with local resources and issues.
Internet Support Groups
In internet support groups, people from all over the world with similar interests or problems meet online through email, websites, message boards, chat rooms or through social networking, such as Facebook.
Benefits of Internet Support Groups
- You get support without leaving your house - good for people with limited mobility transportation problems.
- Access to the group is at your convenience and need.
- If your problem is unusual - a rare disease, for example - there may not be enough people for a local group, but there will always be enough people online.
[Helpguide.org © 2001-2012. All rights reserved. For more information, visit www.Helpguide.org.]
To find a community support group, check the Yellow Pages, ask your doctor or hospital, or call a local organization that deals with the health problem you would like to address in a support group.
To find an internet support group, visit the website of an organization dedicated to the problem or do a web search on the name of the problem.
To get you started, we've listed some resources below:
Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center
The Los Angeles Department of Aging (LADOA)
Leeza's Place A Place for Caregivers
The California Department of Aging contracts with and provides leadership and direction to Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) that coordinate a wide array of services to seniors and adults with disabilities at the community level and serve as the focal point for local aging concerns.
California Caregiver Resource Centers (CRCs)
Link to Care
National and on the Web
Well Spouse Association - Support for Spousal Caregivers
National Alliance for Caregiving
National Family Caregivers Association
American Red Cross - Family Caregiver Training Program
ARCH National Respite Network
Share The Care
Strength for Caring
AARP (Online resources)