Caregiver Support Groups
You are not alone—there are support groups for caregivers to help you cope with this role you have taken on. Ask your loved one’s healthcare team about caregiver support groups or where you can learn more about them. You can also search online for information about support groups or reach out to national lung organizations that have caregiver support groups.
By going to a caregiver support group, the family and friends of people with interstitial lung disease (ILD) can share their feelings, needs, and concerns about caring for their loved one. Caregiver support groups can provide advice and may help you with the mental and practical challenges of providing care to a loved one.
What Is a Caregiver Support Group?
A caregiver support group is a meeting of people who are caring or have cared for a loved one
with a serious condition. Sharing your caring experience with others who can understand what you
are going through may help you to stay strong and committed to caring for your loved one.
Your loved one may also attend caregiver support groups that are tailored toward their own needs.
Depending on where you live, caregiver support groups may be organized by different people. For example, hospitals, charities, and hospices may all arrange caregiver support groups.
What Are the Possible Benefits of Caregiver Support Groups?
Sometimes, people who are not caregivers can find the challenges of a being a caregiver difficult
to understand. Getting together and sharing experiences with other caregivers who understand
what you are going through can create a sense of community and help you to feel understood and
Benefits of taking part in caregiver support groups may include:
- Emotional support from others going through similar experiences
- Practical support for all aspects of caring for somebody with a serious illness
- Relief from loneliness
- Learning about coping strategies
- Sharing knowledge and advice with others facing similar situations
Even though you provide care to a loved one, you might not think of yourself as a caregiver. However, if you are providing care to someone who has ILD, it is vital that you recognize your needs too.
Where Can I Find Caregiver Support Groups?
If you are looking for a caregiver support group, ask your loved one's healthcare team about
groups in your area. Caregiver support groups are often associated with hospitals and nursing
homes; therefore, they should be able to steer you toward local services. In some communities,
support groups may also be arranged by charities.
The most important thing to do is to talk to your loved one's healthcare team about resources in your area.