In this day and age, we are doing more and more online. Why not be part of a support group online?
Below I have listed a number of caregiving groups I have found to be helpful and worthwhile, many of which are led by people with experience and creds in caregiving.
General Caregiving Groups
AARP Family Caregiver Discussion Group
This group, hosted by AARP, is a place for family caregivers of all walks of life to get connected with amazing resources and ask questions of their fellow family caregivers.
Caregiving Advice for All Ages and Stages
Caregiving Advice for All Ages and Stages is a closed group for anyone caring for a loved one, led by Michelle Seitzer at CaregivingAdvice.com.
Caregiver Collective is a closed group for millennial and Gen-X caregivers, led by Jennifer Levin. The group offers a monthly, virtual support group and has expanded to offer a “bulletin board” group where people can connect with products and services that can help while caregiving.
Bulletin Board link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/caregivercollectivebulletinboard/
Caregiver Connect – closed group for any type of caregivers family and professional
Caregivers Hub Support Group
The Caregivers Hub Support Group is a closed group for any type of caregiver family and professional, led by Cassidy Bastien. This group has expanded to offer a “market place” where people can connect with products and services that can help while caregiving.
Marketplace link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/112210936154167
Self Care Support for Caregivers Facebook Group
This group, led by Elizabeth Miller at Happy Healthy Caregiver, was created for family caregivers by current and former family caregivers to help with THEIR self-care. We already know you are so good at taking care of others.
This group, led by Theresa Wilbanks, is composed of current, former, and future family caregivers who support each other as they encounter and transcend the challenges that accompany caring for a family member.
The Caregiver Space Community
The Caregiver Space Community is a closed group offered by TheCaregiverSpace.org, a nonprofit for caregivers, by caregivers, for any type of caregivers family and professional
Dementia & Alzheimer’s Caregiving Groups
Molly’s Movement is an open group for dementia caregivers and anyone, really. There are members from all over the world sharing constantly.
Dementia Careblazers Community
The Dementia Careblazer Community is a closed group offered by Dementia Careblazers. This is a place for people who are to receive support and give support.
Some tips for posting/belonging in virtual/Facebook support groups:
- No advice or information shared (anywhere) is substitute for professional advice, medical, legal, or otherwise.
- We all need to vent every once in a while, but be careful what you say and be prepared for responses that may make you uncomfortable or upset. If you find yourself constantly “venting” in an online group to a bunch of strangers, it may be time to consider seeking professional help.
- You never know who is *actually* in a group. Think twice before sharing any specific details about you or your loved ones life, condition, or personal information.
- No group is ever 100% confidential. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want screenshotted or reported to an authority.
- What works for someone else may not work for you, so be careful taking advice from other people. Look into suggestions from your peers and consult a professional, if necessary, before you go trying random things people say online. You will save a lot of time and money that way.
- If you’re going to reply or react to posts, read them. I mean, really read them. Try to put yourself in their shoes before you respond. If someone didn’t ask for advice, don’t offer it.
- Do not exploit your loved one. If your loved one previously gave or is able to provide consent for you to share their likeness and experience, then fine. If you didn’t have the conversation and now they’re not able to say yay or nay, it is unkind to constantly post pictures of them, especially ones that paint them in an unpleasant light thanks to cognitive impairments or health problems.
- Part of belonging is respecting other people’s opinions, ideas, cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles. Just because you don’t understand something or it doesn’t jive with your own personal philosophy, doesn’t mean you have the right to judge, disrespect, or even comment on someone else’s experience.
- If all else fails, remember what they used to tell you when you were a child: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
No matter where you decide to look, I hope you find the emotional support you need on your caregiving journey.
Please note: a listing here does not equal an endorsement.