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Starting and Running A Caregiver Support Group
Depending on the time of day you have
chosen to meet, you may want to consider if your group
will be together during a mealtime. For example, a
mid-day gathering allows the possibility of a brown bag
lunch. Another possibility could be to have each member
contribute to a hospitality committee if your group
What If Your Loved One Cannot be
Depending on the disease, there are many
different options to think about. If the patient needs
day care, some facilities may allow your loved one to
attend their facility one-day per month or week; the
same as with a respite program. Having a friend,
neighbor or relative stay with your loved one so the
caregiver can attend is another possibility. REMEMBER
this is for the caregiver and you must have some time
What Makes a Good Group Leader?
Many times, the co-coordinator is also
the group leader. However, as a group grows, others may
help facilitate and lead, while the coordinator takes
care of all the logistics. The leader must be active and
maintain an interest in the group. The leader needs to
stay current regarding new information and advances in
the areas of interest to the group. The leader must be
dynamic and motivated. Active listening while
guiding the group is important to the success of the
group. It is also important to end the group meeting on
a positive note. Periodic evaluation of the program will
ensure its viability.
Leader must be dedicated to the
cause of helping and caring.
Assess the needs of the individuals
and the group as a whole.
Set up meetings.
Finding other speakers such as a
physician or other professional is always a good
Publicize the support group.
How Do You Get the Word Out?
Getting the word out is mostly about
networking. Your church or synagogue may print an
announcement in their newsletter. Distributing
flyers around the area and placing announcements in the
community calendars of local newspapers or Web sites can
be helpful. Remember to put in a phone number, email
address or Web site and when you can be reached.