Caregiver Support Groups: Finding Local and Online Groups

Article Summary

This article discusses the benefits of joining a caregiver support group and how to find one.

Key takeaways:

  1. Caregiver support groups can provide relief for family caregivers.
  2. Participation in most caregiver support groups is free.
  3. There are a variety of ways to find a support group to meet your needs.

How can caregiver support groups help family caregivers?

Being a caregiver for your parent can be a rewarding undertaking, especially if you want to provide loving care to someone who nurtured you as a child. But caregiving can also be very stressful and isolating. As your parent’s health declines over time, you may need to devote more time and energy to caregiving than you had originally intended, which may have unforeseen negative effects on your life.

You might feel obligated to reduce your work hours or quit your job so that you can be present for your parent. Your caregiving efforts may begin to strain other relationships, if you neglect other relatives and friends while caring for your parent. You may forget about caring for yourself, which may lead to health problems of your own. And you may feel depressed, angry, overwhelmed or exhausted because of your caregiving responsibilities.

A caregiver support group can be a source of relief for family caregivers. If you can’t talk to your friends about your day-to-day frustrations because they wouldn’t understand what you’re going through, connecting with other family caregivers can be validating and help you feel less alone.

When you listen to what other family caregivers are doing for their loved ones, you may find solutions to some of your own caregiving problems. You may also make friends who are willing to chat when you’re having a particularly difficult caregiving day. Finding a community where you belong may help you feel less isolated and more resolute about your choice to care for your parent.

How much do caregiver support groups cost?

Participation in most caregiver support groups is free. Some in-person programs may have a nominal fee, depending on the individual circumstances of each group. Before you attend your first meeting, inquire ahead of time to find out if there’s a cost for participation.

How do I find home caregiver support groups for myself?

There are a number of ways to find a support group to meet your needs. Some are offered by local resources, while others are offshoots of national organizations. You should be able to find meetings to attend, either in person or online, where you can connect with family caregivers who are experiencing many of the same struggles and emotions that you’re experiencing.

Try searching for a caregiver support group through these channels:

  • The Community Resource Finder from the Alzheimer’s Association and AARP has a search engine to help you find a support group in your area. Click on “Programs and Events,” then “Alzheimer’s Support Groups” and enter your zip code to find a program near you.
  • The Alzheimer’s Association also has its own online resource, ALZConnected, with discussion boards and a caregivers forum for those who like to connect online.
  • The Well Spouse Association has an online search engine to help you find a support group near you. The focus of this group is supporting spouses and partners who have become caregivers for their significant others.
  • If your parent participates in an adult daycare program or you’ve seen advertisements for an adult daycare program in your area, ask the staff if they offer caregiver support groups at their location.
  • Your parent’s doctor’s office or the local hospital may have information about support groups for family caregivers that are offered at the hospital.
  • Churches, synagogues and other houses of worship may host support groups for family caregivers, or they may know where to refer you locally. Call to find out more information.
  • Search online or on Facebook for caregiver support groups. Some possibilities include the AARP Family Caregivers Support Group, the Dementia Support and Advice Group and the Caregivers of Elderly Parents.

You can seek out a support group that’s tailored to your personal needs.

  • Different support groups are available for people whose loved ones have particular health conditions. If your parent has dementia plus heart disease or cancer, for example, you can search for a caregivers support group in your area for relatives of cancer patients or people with heart disease.
  • Some support groups are tailored toward partners and spouses, while others are designed for children who are caregivers. Still others are all-encompassing, for partners, children and friends who are caregivers.
  • If you’re younger or older and you hope to find a support group comprised of peers, search around until you find a community of family caregivers that feels like the right fit.

Author Bio

Lisa Fields is a passionate healthcare writer and advocate for better senior care in America. This article has been reviewed by TJ Falohun, co-founder and CEO of Olera. He is a trained biomedical engineer and writes about the cost of healthcare in America for seniors.

Talk to an advisor


Need help caring for an elder loved one? We've got you covered.

  • Free consultation with a Senior Advisor
  • Compare pricing for senior services
  • Comprehensive planning for you loved one
or call us directly at 1-800-22-OLERA

Find Financial, Legal, & Other Services for your loved one

Read more

Complete Guide to Advance Care Planning for Family Caregivers

Complete Guide to Advance Care Planning for Family Caregivers

Added: Apr 5, 2024
6 min read
Last modified: Apr 5, 2024
Advance care planning is the process of learning about what kinds of medical decisions may need to be made in the future, preparing for them, and communicating one’s wishes to others.
Learn more
Types of Senior Care - Find the Best Care for Your Elderly Loved Ones

Types of Senior Care - Find the Best Care for Your Elderly Loved Ones

Added: May 31, 2023
5 min read
Last modified: Apr 22, 2024
Whether your loved one needs skilled medical care or just a little help in a home-like setting...
Learn more
Paying for Senior Care - Exploring Financial & Assistance Options for Senior Living

Paying for Senior Care - Exploring Financial & Assistance Options for Senior Living

Added: Jun 1, 2023
5 min read
Last modified: Apr 21, 2024
Aside from using personal savings, other ways to pay for long-term care include various...
Learn more