Going Online to Connect with Other Caregivers

Online caregiver groups provide support at your convenience

As a family caregiver, finding the time to do anything but providing 24/7 care and attention might seem impossible. But anyone managing the stress, demands, and isolation of the caregiving role needs support. Caregivers often hesitate to share their day-to-day ups and downs with friends, neighbors, or family members who may be willing to listen, but whose lives are on a different path.

In-person support groups offered at ISL communities, extend valuable face-to-face interaction, but attending meetings isn’t always feasible. Spending hours out of the house, and finding back-up care during that time, may seem unmanageable. And many caregivers don’t feel comfortable talking about their feelings in an in-person group setting.

Online support groups, on the other hand, provide a convenient, flexible forum that caregivers can pop in and out of whenever they have spare moments—and they can participate wherever they have access to a computer, smart phone, or tablet.

It’s a good idea to check out a few online support groups by browsing the topics and reading the posts. You may be required to register to participate, but you’re not required to post anything until you’re ready—if at all. Sometimes just reading other people’s stories can give you a needed boost and help you feel less alone.

Googling “online caregiver groups” will turn up plenty of options, but here are a few good places to start:

The Family Caregiver Alliance offers a variety of online support groups (https://www.caregiver.org/support-groups) for caregivers of adults with different types of disorders and chronic health problems.

Caring.com sponsors groups for caregivers (https://www.caring.com/support-groups) for caregiving tips, advice, and support from others who understand what you’re going through.

CareGiving.com hosts more than 50 online groups (https://www.caregiving.com/groups/) for different caregiving issues and situations.

Alzheimer’s Association offers ALZConnected, is free online community for everyone affected by Alzheimer’s or another dementia, including caregivers, for which they provide a caregivers forum (https://www.alzconnected.org/).

AARP offers an online caregiving community (http://community.aarp.org/t5/Caregiving/bd-p/bf41?intcmp=AE-HF-IL-COMM-CG) that connects caregivers with others who have similar interests, experiences, and needs.