If you’re feeling alone, confused, or overwhelmed by your changing health or care needs, community support groups might help. Support groups are a great way for people with a common illness, diagnosis, or caregiving challenge to come together. These groups are typically informal and involve sharing experiences, tips, and suggestions for handling the topic at hand.
When looking for a support group, there are a few different formats to consider. In-person groups may take place at a local coffee shop, community center, church, school, or library. They may be limited to a certain number of participants and may or may not have a fee associated with them.
Virtual support groups are hosted online and usually allow for higher attendance and often do not have a fee associated with them. They also allow for more groups to be hosted since a specific space is not needed.
Telephonic support groups can have a structured time where participants call in to share their experiences, or they may have more of an open helpline type of structure. For example, the Alzheimer’s Association offers a 24/7 helpline staffed with qualified individuals ready to provide support for caregiver challenges. Telephonic support options are helpful for those who may not be comfortable attending a group in person yet, but still want the supportive services available to them.
To find a local support group, it is important to consider what type of group you are looking for. If looking for a disease- or diagnosis-specific group, visiting an online association related to that illness is a great place to start. Many hospital systems also offer disease-specific support groups.
If you are looking for caregiver support groups such as grandparents raising grandchildren, veteran’s groups, etc., a senior center or your local Area Agency on Aging will likely have local support groups resources or be able to direct you to appropriate options.
Next Step: Manage Your Finances
As you start to organize your plan for aging and long-term care, you’ll want to consider the costs.
The information and services on this site do not constitute medical nor health care advice for any individual problem nor a substitute for medical or other professional advice and services from a qualified health care provider familiar with your unique facts.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and prior to starting any new treatment.