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On-Line Support Groups for Caregivers and Older Adults

Aug 17, 2007
Ever wanted to find similar minded individuals or some support related to the care and aging of your parents or even yourself but don't have the time to seek them out? Or have you taken the time to go to a group and have everyone else speak, feeling like you were left out? On line support groups are an easy way to gain support without leaving home; and you can't be left out if you can type.

Support groups are a vehicle to meet others in similar situations, to discuss feelings and issues about a particular subject and to make friends who can offer empathy and support relative to specific situations. According to the Mayo Clinic, support groups help participants feel less alone by making connections, learning new coping skills by speaking to others who have been there, and can be a source of hope for the future. (1)

In my conversations with older adults and their family members, many find the idea of a support group attractive, however the complications of scheduling formal time to attend has made it difficult or impossible for them to join a group whether they are a caregiver or an older adult needing support for him or herself.

From my own personal experience as a caregiver with the loss of both parents at an early age I know how difficult this event can be especially if there is no regular support system. I have been privileged to help families and older adults, who have graciously shared their lives and opened their homes, in my work providing counseling and home care through my company, In Home and Family Services.

Because many involved in the aging process often struggle with the emotions brought about by change and do not know where to begin to seek information or support, online support groups are a source of information and support.

The first portion of the site is for those wishing to join a support group without leaving home. Online support groups are a new concept, allowing caregivers or single older adults with a computer and internet access an opportunity to join others and build a community. Members can log in any time of day and correspond with members of their own private support group to form relationships and bonds that that will support them in their day to day activities as an older adult or as a caregiver.

These support groups are membership only, ensuring that members feel safe knowing that their identities and information remain within the group. The site is monitored and technologically safe, meaning that it is protected from unknown access and all correspondence is virus scanned.

1)www.mayoclinic.com/health/support-groups/MH00044.
About the Author
Pamela Dombrowski-Wilson is an author and owner of In Home and Family Services, Inc. a counseling and direct care company serving older adults and their family members. Visit http://www.inhomeandfamily.com or http://www.pameladwilson.com for more informaion
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