Care Indeed’s First CareGiver Support Group
Care Indeed held its first-ever caregiver support group on May 16th, 2017. One of our dedicated care managers, Lindsey Hawkins, MA, MFTI counseled the group. Since it was the first group meeting, her agenda was fairly simple. Lindsey introduced herself and her credentials. She also described her experience with training and group activities. She then let the group introduce themselves and had them describe what being a caregiver meant to them. Many of the attendees showed their passion for caregiving and why those reasons have helped them excel as a caregiver. Some of the attendees said that caregiving can be a struggle at times, Lindsey asked them how Care Indeed can better support them and assist in providing the best possible care for our clients.
In a health care setting, specifically caregiving, we often describe it as a passionate, yet tough and isolating experience. Many caregivers seek support from others who have experienced being with similar clients and/or difficult situations. Whether it is a positive or negative feeling, many caregivers find it a relief knowing that what they are experiencing is normal. Support groups provide guidance and validation on each different situation. They are a great place to ask for advice, and to find useful resources throughout the community and vent about any frustrations. It is a safe place where the caregivers’ voices will be heard; nobody will be judged based solely on the fact that everyone may be going through the same struggles. Furthermore, as caregiving causes various day-to-day challenges, support groups provide helpful tips on life, reduce stress and improve overall health.
Research shows that caregiver support groups result in high productivity among caregivers which also significantly enhances both their and the client’s quality of life. Listed below are some key benefits of implementing a caregiver support group:
- Have a sense of belonging to a support group, where caregivers can feel less lonely, isolated or judged; voice concerns and feel supported
- Gain a sense of empowerment and control on challenging situations
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Develop clear understanding of the situation at hand, and brainstorm ways on how to approach it before the situation becomes a bigger problem
- Improve caregiving ability and provide best possible care for the client
- Offer advice to those in similar situations
Let’s be honest, caregiving comes with no instruction manual to care for clients. Being forced to learn after several trial-and-errors can be stressful. Why not learn from someone who has experienced this? Stay tuned for Care Indeed’s next caregiver support group, where the topics of stress management, self-care ideas, working with family dynamics and exercise importance will be discussed.