Caregiver Support Groups: Defend Yourself Against Burnout

Caregiver Support Groups: Defend Yourself Against Burnout
Thomas Drew, 6/20/2018
Caregiving, especially for a loved one, can be one of the most draining responsibilities a person could take on. It's not just the physical and emotional part of the job that can leave you spent, it's also the isolation. Since your loved one can't be left alone, you often will notice that your personal time - for friends, for errands, for exercise - starts to dwindle. Isolation and exhaustion can quickly build into a phenomenon known as caregiver burnout that can make you a less empathetic caregiver.

If you are caring for a loved one, you might find Caregiver Support groups to be a great help and source of comfort. Many caregivers end up feeling guilty and run down over similar problems. You may discover that a lot of people out there are annoyed at a parent for nagging, angry with their sibling who never pitches in, or are feeling guilty for taking even a little time for their own hobbies. You'll find comfort in having a place to vent and learning that you're not quite as alone as you thought.

What Do They Talk about in Support Groups?

It turns out most caregivers are experiencing the same things that are getting you down. Common topics that are discussed in support groups include:
  • Family members who never pitch in
  • Bickering with the loved one you are caring for
  • Changes in mood associated with dementia
  • Tips for being a better caregiver, (like lifting mom with greater ease, household safety tips…etc.)
You'll also be able to bring up your own questions in a supportive community. Caregivers tend to be loving, supportive people so discussions are typically filled with empathy and understanding.

In Their Own Words: Why Caregivers Appreciate Their Groups

We asked members of our online support group about their experience of having a community to talk about caregiving.

"I am so grateful to have found this online support group. We all have the same problems, worries, fears, anger, triumphs, defeats etc. ......It makes the craziness a little less crazy and normal."

"I love this group because you get the support whenever wherever. And when you're taking care of someone when do you have the time to get to a group?"

Where Can You find a Caregiver Support Group? moderates an active support forum on Facebook. The great part is that it is a closed group, so your family won't be able to see the things you discuss. You can request to join the caregiver support group here. It's easy to join and you can read the discussions until you're ready to join in.

Join the Facebook Caregiver Support Group

Some caregivers like to find in-person groups to supplement an online community they've joined. There's something unique about seeing the same faces on a regular basis and you'll have an easier time making friends in person. Start by looking for groups online ('Caregiver support group in [YOUR TOWN]'). See if the local library or your religious group already has a group that meets regularly. You can contact your local Area agency on Aging or browse Eldercare navigator to find resources for caregivers.

It's important for caregivers to take proactive steps to make sure they have a support system in place because being burned out doesn't just affect you. When you're supported emotionally, you will be a better caregiver for your loved one. I hope you strongly consider finding a group, online or offline, where you can vent and be heard.
Thomas Drew

Thomas Drew

Thomas Drew is the Marketing Manager at He graduated from Swarthmore College in 2013 and has worked in marketing since then.