What Should You Look for in a Support Group?
June 14, 2018
Joining the right support group can feel complicated, especially if you’re not always adept at joining social situations. When you know what you’re looking for in a support group, though, it’s a lot easier for you to figure out whether the ones you’re interested in are a good fit for you.
You Feel Welcomed and Secure
No one wants to keep meeting with people who make them feel judged or unwelcome, so it’s not unusual to expect to feel comfortable and secure in a support group, too. The group should have some guidelines to let people know what kinds of behaviors are acceptable and you shouldn’t feel as if you’re forced to share anything that you don’t want to share.
Speaking of guidelines, there should be at least a few that govern protecting your information and what you share. It’s not beyond reason to expect that your conversations stay within the support group instead of being shared all over the place. It’s meant to be a safe environment and that means keeping conversations confidential.
It’s Convenient for You
If meetings are too inconvenient for you, you’re not as likely to attend them, of course. This means that they need to fit into your schedule and they should be convenient for you to access. With online support groups, this might be a little bit easier to accomplish. For in-person support groups, having senior care providers you can rely on to take over for you with your elderly family member can help to bring those meetings more into reach.
You’re Learning and Also Sharing Information
The best types of support groups are the ones in which you can not only learn as much as you need to learn, but you can also help other caregivers. It’s really difficult to find a situation in which you truly have nothing to share with other people that can help them, so it might help to remind yourself of that fact. Even if it’s a small tip you’ve learned, it’s worth sharing with other caregivers. You’ll gain an immense sense of accomplishment from being able to share as well as accept help.
The good news is that you don’t have to stick with a support group that you don’t feel is right for you. Keep trying, because there’s definitely a support group that has the right combination of features that are perfect for you and your situation.