Start a caregiver’s group 321
Start a caregiver’s group
One important way to improve health for caregivers is to talk with each other. Both
caregivers and people with disabilities need support from others who have similar
experiences. Talking with others about your needs and feelings can help you feel less
isolated. You can also share ideas with other caregivers about how to make things
easier and build support systems for you and all the disabled people you assist.
If there is not a group already, and you
know there are other caregivers in the
community, it may be up to you to start one.
Some of the strongest and most active groups
began because of one person’s idea. A group
I need care all the time. I
have a group of attendants
and friends who have
formed a “take care of Mai”
network. They talk to each
working together can solve problems and do
more than if they each work alone.
other, help each other feel
better, and support each
other. They all like me, and
To start a group:
Find 2 or more caregivers who want to start
I like them. It’s like a great
a support group. If you do not know any
families in which someone is disabled, a health worker may know of other
families in nearby communities.
Plan when and where to meet. It helps to choose a place where everyone will
be comfortable talking, perhaps a room in a health center, community center,
cooperative, or place of worship. At the first meeting, discuss why you are meeting
and what you hope to do.
Probably one person will be the leader of the first few meetings. But it is
important that no one person makes decisions for the group. Everyone should have
a chance to talk. Try to keep the discussion focused on the main reasons for the
meeting. After the first few meetings, take turns leading the group. Having different
people lead each meeting will help shy members participate.
We found out
that all of us have
the same kind of
I can talk about my
problems openly and
get advice on what to
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007