Caregiver Matters: Getting over the fear of joining support groups |

Caregiver Matters: Getting over the fear of joining support groups

Deb Cash
For the Nevada Appeal

There can be so many benefits and advantages to joining a local support group. In the past year, the Caregivers Support Group of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church has hosted as many as 15 different resource speakers on the medical, legal and emotional challenges facing those who constantly care for a seriously ill loved one or friend. There have been helpful field trips and holiday events for caregivers and their patients.

The next free meetings are 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Oct. 20. But the reality is that most people will shy away from attending a good support group that can help them with grief or any number of issues.

If you ask your everyday, regular person if they might benefit from going to a support group, they will probably say, “Oh no, I am not a group type of person.” What is the fear? Is it that if they are to attend a group it might look like they have a problem or issue of concern? These days, who doesn’t have some issue or concern? Perhaps the reluctance to join a support group is because it attending any group takes valuable time. So the value of your time must be weighed by the value you receive back from attending a support group. Right?

Well then, here are some support group selection guide lines.

First, is the aspect of timing. If you think you are going crazy and would like to be with others who are in a very similar situation (like care giving). If you are, then this is a good time to find a support group (or therapist).

Next, trust the local network. Carson City has so many smart physicians, nurses and health care providers, so ask them what they have heard about certain support groups. You want to find one where a little whining is expected, but the general focus of the group is positive and helpful. And that it’s not cliquish or closed to new members.

Finally, and most importantly, experiment. Go to a group for a couple of times, not just once. Why? This is because every group has an off night where one individual may be in need of more of the group’s focus than usual. If after attending a couple of times, you see this one isn’t for you, don’t stay. But,keep looking for the right one. Use your local Community Resource Guide, it is very helpful.

The Caregivers Support Group at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church meets twice a month on the first and third Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall located at N. Division and Telegraph streets. There is an agenda each time that covers a new resource and time for sharing. There is a Chaplain, Rev. Victoria Warren, who ends the meeting with a good dose of spiritual support for folks of all faiths and religions. If you are afraid of public speaking, don’t worry. No one has to stand up, introduce themselves and tell how long they have had their problem.or concern. It is free and available to all involved in any type of care giving. So come check this group out or find another.

For more details, give Dr. Deb Cash a call at 887-8846. Go on, give up that fear of groups. It will do you a world of good