Peer Support Groups
Caregiving can be a wonderful but sometimes isolating experience especially if friends or non-caregiving family members don’t understand what you’re experiencing.
Sometimes caregiving can make you feel overwhelmed and lonely. We always suggest to carers that they try a caregiver peer support group.
Peer support groups reduce stress because you get an opportunity to talk with people who really understand. You can vent your frustrations, get useful advice, and find out about local resources available to you.
But what if you attend a support group meeting and find that you don’t really like the group or didn’t feel a connection there? Don’t give up on support groups.
Every support group has its own personality, so the first one you try might not be a match for you. There are many options out there and it’s worth the effort to find a group that suits you and your situation and needs.
Consider going back to that group one or even two more times.
It’s possible that the specific combination of attendees didn’t work well for you, but people come and go so the next meeting could feel completely different.
Trying different groups increases the chance that you’ll find one that’s a good fit for you personally.
If your older adult has a specific health condition, many major non-profit organisations offer support groups, including:
- Dementia Connections (Age UK North Tyneside)
- North Tyneside Carers Centre
- NHS North Tyneside Talking Therapies
- Alzheimer’s Society
- Motor Neurone Disease Association
- Parkinson’s Disease Society
If this isn’t an option instead of attending a support group, you might prefer speaking with someone one-on-one. It’s important that the person you choose is able to focus on listening and providing the type of support you need – and won’t judge or criticise you or your actions.
Suggested sources of support:
A leader or counsellor from your church, or place of worship
A therapist, social worker, or similar type of trained counsellor
A trusted friend or close family member who’s known for their empathy and listening skills
There are many excellent sources of support available online. Even if you aren’t seeing people face-to-face, many caregivers say that group members start to feel like a family. This was especially apparent during lockdown when many peer support groups turned to Zoom or Teams rather than become isolated during the pandemic.
Stay safe by not sharing any personal information, especially your address or financial information.
For any information or advice about local support in North Tyneside give Age UK North Tyneside a call.
Tel: 0191 2808484 Option 1