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Starting and Running A Caregiver Support Group
There are millions of caregivers in the
United States and they all have common needs:
recognition, counseling, support, information, problem
sharing and, in many cases, peer socializing.
One of the proven ways that many of
these needs can be met is by the formation of a local
Caregiver Support Group. Caregivers are one of
Americaís most valuable assets, but often their needs
are lost in the care recipientsí problems.
Therefore, having a place where caregivers can be
themselves, share experiences and insights and have the
positive input of their peers is critical.
What is a Support Group and how
do you Start One?
A caregiver support group is a regularly
scheduled, informal gathering of people whose lives are
directly or indirectly affected by the caregiving needs
of another and who benefit from peer acceptance and
recognition for their common concerns and are grateful
for the wisdom, insight and humor of their fellow
Who Runs a Support Group?
Informal support groups generally are
created by one or more individuals dealing with a loved
one who have an illness in common such as Parkinsonís
disease, or age (grandma) or category (kids with special
needs) that decide they need to reach out and share to
help others and themselves. It doesnít take special
training, but it does take effort, dedication and
The coordinator must be dedicated to
the cause of helping other people.
The coordinator needs to be
supportive, realistic, reassuring and empathetic.
Must be able to assess the needs of
the individuals and the group as a whole.
Set up meetings.
Lead group discussions.
Publicize the group.