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Support beneficial for caregivers

Published: Saturday, July 12, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

Ever had one of those days when you just want to yell at everyone or anyone in your path? The stress of caregiving can be overwhelming and blowing your top, well, happens. After recently being a target myself of a caregiver’s wrath — but understanding that it was her situation rather than me that was the source of her frustration – one of my astute employees remarked, “Hey, sounds like a support group might be beneficial for her.”

According to Psychology Today and the Mayo Clinic, support groups can be a great resource that helps people who are in similar circumstances connect. Bonds of understanding form when participants share their difficulties, fears, successes, hardships, resentments and emotions.

After hearing my client’s caregiver say, “You just don’t understand how difficult it is,” all I could respond was that I understood her frustration—but she was correct, I could not understand her completely because I had not experienced it before. Who better to talk and discuss frustrations with than those who are experiencing a similar situation?

For those seeking to connect with others who are facing caregiving challenges, Lake County has a number of resources. Family Service of Lake County in Highland Park offers a few different senior and caregiver services, they are currently getting the word out about their services in Northern Lake County for caregiver support groups — specifically in the Round Lake area but groups and services are also available in many different locations. Information can be found on their Web page www.famservice.org, then navigate to their “Programs” tab. The groups are free of charge and can connect you with others in similar phases of life.

Taking some time to examine your own stresses and emotions while spending time with others who are experiencing the same circumstances can be very cathartic.

Some fantastic and long-lasting friendships and bonds can form when participating in support groups — not to mention the understanding the other members have of your perspective. So, are you having one of those days? Consider a group near you geared toward caregivers, you might find it is worth the effort of attending.

Linda Chamberlain is the owner, director of Client Services Ensemble of Care Inc.

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