Dasha Kiper
Consulting Clinical Supervisor,
Support Groups

Unpredictability is something all caregivers live with. Though, for some, there is one constant in their lives: CaringKind support groups. These groups provide the stability and empathy caregivers do not find elsewhere.

Before Maria W. joined a support group, she thought she had to take care of her mother alone. But with the group’s encouragement, she acquired a good home health aide and felt her sanity restored. Finally, she could envision a life that was not entirely consumed by Alzheimer’s.
But then Covid-19 hit, and like so many caregivers, Maria lost her health care worker. To make matters worse, she also came down with the disease. She panicked: suddenly she didn’t have the strength to care for her mom the way she used to and there was no one in the house to help her.

But she had her group.

The group, as always, was there for her. Its members reminded her that the best way to help her mom was to think first of herself. If she was to beat the virus, she had to stop fulfilling most of her usual duties. By giving herself permission to pull back, Maria felt the same relief she would feel when the health care aide stepped through the door.

But what meant the most to her was feeling that her health was important to others.

Knowing that there were people in her life who cared deeply for her helped her get through a time of great stress and uncertainty. She knew that whatever might happen, the group would be there for her. And because she also wanted to be there for the group, she put her needs before her mother’s—which, of course, helped them both.

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