Whether online or in person, caregiver support groups offer a safe, supportive environment where caregivers can recharge their batteries and share their experiences with other caregivers. Hope Grows offers this kind of respite for caregivers both online and in-person, supporting them mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Family Caregiver Support Programs
Hope Grows offers a wide variety of programs and services to caregivers, many of them involving the therapeutic benefits of being in a natural environment. This meets one of the core beliefs of Hope Grows: “We believe that caregivers not only need a break, they deserve a break.”
In addition to in person programs in Moon Township, Penn., Hope Grows also connects caregivers around the country through an online program called THINK Caregiver.
Those who learn about Hope Grows soon discover that taking advantage of family caregiver support can help them overcome difficulties, giving them more energy and a new, healthier outlook. The following looks at some of the ways they benefit.
You Are Not Alone
Meeting others in similar situations is one of the major benefits of caregiver support groups. Caregivers get a chance to talk about their own experiences with others who face similar challenges. They may also pick up ideas and learn new approaches to caregiving that can help them overcome obstacles they frequently face.
Just the act of talking to others in the same situation can help reduce stress. Caregiver support groups also offer caregivers tools and techniques they can use to reduce stress in their day-to-day lives.
Reconnecting With Nature
When getting support through Hope Grows, caregivers get the opportunity to reconnect with nature through gardening, nature walks and other programs. Getting into a natural environment can rejuvenate those who experience stress, anxiety and depression.
Gaining a Sense of Empowerment
Participating in caregiver support groups empowers caregivers. With a rejuvenated mind, body and spirit, as well as the sense of community they get from fellow caregivers, many feel a better sense of control over their lives.
Finding the Right Caregiver Support Program
Each caregiver support group offers a different experience. Caregivers should listen to recommendations from friends and others in the caregiving community. Ideally, you want a group that is led by those with experience in caregiving and who have established themselves.
Local, in person groups are best for some caregivers. Others may prefer online meetings. Hope Grows does both, offering caregivers the convenience of connecting with others through the internet as well as in-person programs.
For example, the THINK caregiver program provides a platform for a virtual support group that connects caregivers to personalized training and community support with others around the country. Through the program, Hope Grows offers caregivers encouragement that includes simple self-care suggestions.
Hope Grows also will open the Iris Respite House in 2021. Based on a bed and breakfast model, the Iris Respite House offers caregivers a place to relax, heal and grow. The house will give caregivers a change of environment and restorative care for their mind, body and spirit. They also can share caregiver stories.
Other Programs From Hope Grows
Hope Grows offers a large variety of programs for caregivers. They include the following.
Caregiver Connect. Designed based on research and funded in part by a grant from the Staunton Farm Foundation, this program teaches caregivers relaxation and mindfulness techniques and gives them an opportunity to share their story with others.
Mental health counseling. Counseling is offered for issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma and secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue and burnout, grief and loss.
Educational programs. Hope Grows has a long list of educational programs designed to help caregivers better manage taking care of their loved ones.
Garden walks and tours. These walks and tours offer caregivers an inside look at the restorative properties of gardens. They also can hear talks about garden maintenance, pollination and bee keeping. These and other caregiver support programs can give family caregivers the help they need to feel both better about themselves and less isolated. Joining a family caregiver support group is a good first step for taking care of yourself as well as your loved ones.