Caregiver Support Groups

Last Updated: October 20, 2020

Written by the Open Caregiving Team. Editorial review by Joyce O. Murphy RN, MSN.

What are caregiver support groups?

Support groups invite caregivers to share their experiences and feelings. Together, caregivers learn coping strategies and offer advice in a safe and supportive environment.

How do I know if I need a caregiver support group?

Many caregivers benefit from joining a support group, especially early on in their caregiving role. Former caregivers often say that they wish they had joined a group earlier.

What can caregiver support groups help me with?

  • Validating Your Feelings: Support groups are an effective way to learn that it is okay and normal to feel certain emotions. They remind you to devote time to taking care of yourself.
  • Avoiding Burnout and Improving Mental Health: Support groups help you take a step back and realize that in order to take care of others, you must first take care of yourself.
    • You spend time reflecting on and hearing the perspectives of experienced caregivers.
    • Listening to others’ stories helps you to re-frame your experience. This often improves your understanding of your special circumstances.
  • Learning From the Experiences of Other Caregivers: Support groups can offer practical advice on your specific situation. Always check with your medical team and trusted professionals before acting on any medical, legal, or financial advice.
  • Belonging to a Safe Community: Support groups can act as a safe and supportive community when times are tough. They help with guiding you as you enter a new phase of caregiving and need support.
  • Creating a Social Outlet: Support groups can act as a social outlet. You get to meet and converse with those in similar situations who can relate to how you feel.
  • Finding Strength In Others’ Stories: Support groups can help you get through difficult moments by listening to your fellow members’ stories and sharing your own.

Are support groups free for caregivers?

Yes, most caregiving support groups are free. It’s worth researching free support groups before joining any paid support groups.

What is an online caregiver support group?

Online support groups allow people to connect and support each other at a distance. The formats include forums, live chat groups, or video calls.

What are the pros of online support groups?

  • The variety of online support groups makes it easier to find a community you can relate to.
  • Online support groups provide flexibility for those who are limited because of time, location, or medical condition.
  • Some people find online support groups more comfortable than in-person support groups. They are good when a person prefers privacy.

What are the cons of online support groups?

  • Written communication can be prone to misunderstandings.
  • Some participants fail to follow community rules because of anonymity.
  • It can be more difficult to develop relationships online than in-person.

Where can I find an online caregiver support group for me?

Looking for an online caregiver support group? Get started by browsing this list.

Reddit is an anonymous forum platform that guides honest conversations about caregiving.

  • Reddit is organized by subtopics called “subreddits.” Most diseases or conditions will have their own dedicated subreddit.
  • Users may vent, ask for advice, pose questions, or just write about their experiences.
  • Reddit is a good place to visit when you want to get different opinions about your deeper questions.
  • Browse specific caregiving subreddits to follow what other caregivers are asking and talking about.
  • There are many medical professionals on Reddit. Although they may offer helpful advice, it’s best to check with your medical team before acting on any online advice.

Facebook has many general and specific online caregiving support groups.

  • Most of these are private, thus your activity in the group won’t be seen by anyone outside that specific support group.
  • These conversations are often overseen by helpful staff people who create a supportive environment.
  • Facebook has many types of caregiver groups. You can search for these in the groups section of Facebook.

Smart Patients is an online community of patients, and families affected by a variety of illnesses. On their site, you can interact and share experiences with other patients and caregivers facing similar difficulties or situations.

What is an in-person caregiver support group?

In-person support groups allow caregivers to regularly get together to support each other. A moderator leads the group, helping participants get the most from their experience.

What are the pros of in-person support groups?

  • Group members can connect on a deeper level and build meaningful relationships.
  • Moderators help everyone feel comfortable and make sure members follow the group rules.
  • Moderators will discuss and correct false information.
  • You get reminders to focus on self-care because you matter.
  • In-person groups hold members more accountable than most online support groups. This can mean being part of the group or making sure you have time for yourself.

What are the cons of in-person support groups?

  • Not everyone feels comfortable sharing their feelings and emotions in person.
  • They can be hard to get to if you have certain medical and mobility limitations.
  • There may only be a few options within your area.
  • Some people do not have the time to regularly travel to and from the support group.
  • They may not be meeting during COVID-19.

Where can I find an in-person caregiver support group near me?

General Support Groups for Caregivers

  • Caregiver Support Group: A group to empower caregivers of all walks of life (private, family or professional).
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 3 years ago
    • Members: ~12,500
    • Affiliation: None
  • Caregivers Hub Support Group: A group for new caregivers to learn from veteran caregivers. They welcome both family and professional caregivers.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 4 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~7,000
    • Affiliation: None
  • The Caregiver Space Community: A group for all types of people who provide care and want to connect and talk about their experiences.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 4 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~6,500
    • Affiliation: TheCaregiverSpace.org
  • Caregivers Connect: A group for family caregivers and caregiving professionals to share their experiences, advice and support with one another.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 5 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~5,000
    • Affiliation: Sponsored by GreatCall
  • Caregiver Support: A community of caregivers who understand how hard things can be and want a place to vent and find help and advice in any situation.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 7 years ago
    • Members: ~5,000
    • Affiliation: None
  • Caring For The Caregiver Support Group: A group for caregivers to support each other emotionally by sharing their thoughts and feelings.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 6 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~4,000
    • Affiliation: None
  • Caregivers Assist Support Group: A group that is dedicated to sharing best practices and advice on how to live a balanced and healthy life as a caregiver. The group founder, a Certified Geriatric Care Manager, conducts trainings for caregivers through webinars, online workshops and Facebook Live. This group emphasizes the importance of confidentiality.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 6 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~2,250
    • Affiliation: None
  • Caregiver Support Community: A group for family members currently taking care of a loved one. They do not accept professional caregivers or nursing home workers.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 6 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~2,000
    • Affiliation: None
  • AARP Caregiving Community: Offers a forum for caregivers to ask questions and lean on others for advice and support.
  • Smart Patients and Family Caregiver Alliance

Caring for Aging Parents and Family Members

  • Caring for Elderly Parents: A group focused on supporting caregivers taking care of their aging parents.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 9 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~13,500
    • Affiliation: None
  • Aging Parents: Adults caring for elderly parents who want to share ideas and discuss issues they face.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 6 years ago
    • Members: ~8,000
    • Affiliation: None
  • Elder Care: A community for friends and family caregivers to ask questions and share stories about taking care of aging individuals.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 10 years ago
    • Members: ~1,100
    • Affiliation: None
  • Caregiving: A community focused on caregiving for seniors.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 12 years ago
    • Members: ~1,000
    • Affiliation: None

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers

  • Memory People: A group focused on supporting Alzheimer’s, dementia and people with memory impairments. This group was created by a patient diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 57 who saw the need for an online place for support, information and to find understanding together.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 10 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~22,500
    • Affiliation: None
  • Dementia Caregivers Support: A group for caregivers taking care of Dementia and Alzheimer’s afflicted loved ones who want to join a stimulating conversation and feel safe to post their personal feelings.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 7 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~16,000
    • Affiliation: None
  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers: A supportive place where dementia caregivers can share their struggles without fear of judgment.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 4 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~52,000
    • Affiliation: None
  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers Support Chat Group: A group for friends and family of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. This group was created to discuss caregiver questions and concerns about how the disease is affecting loved ones. This is a chat group more so than the other facebook groups so members do talk about topics outside of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 4 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~10,000
    • Affiliation: None
  • The Purple Sherpa Basecamp (Dementia Family Caregiver Support Group): This group was started by a daughter who was the primary caregiver to her father for over 7 years as he progressed to end-stage Alzheimer’s. She started this group to have a place to share lessons, vent and support other caregivers through the lonely and difficult periods.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 5 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~5,000
    • Affiliation: None
  • Alzheimer’s: A community for people affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia to support one another and share news about research and changes.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 11 years ago
    • Members: ~6,500
    • Affiliation: None
  • Dementia: A community dedicated to information and support for people dealing with dementia and their caregivers.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 10 years ago
    • Members: ~9,500
    • Affiliation: None

Women Balancing Careers and Caregiving

  • Working Daughter: A group focused on supporting women who are balancing caregiving with their career and personal life.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 4 years ago
    • Type: Private (must be accepted by admin)
    • Members: ~3,500
    • Affiliation: Working Daughter

Cancer Caregiver Support Groups

  • Cancer Family Support: Support for those affected by cancer.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 2 years ago
    • Members: ~2,500
    • Affiliation: None
  • Cancer Caregivers: Support and resources for those with family members , partners or friends who have been diagnosed with cancer.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 5 years ago
    • Members: ~1,500
    • Affiliation: None
  • Cancer Discussion & Support: Discussion on cancer, cancer-related news, survival stories, stories of loss, and everything else related to the disease.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 12 years ago
    • Members: ~32,000
    • Affiliation: None
  • Brain Cancer: Support for patients diagnosed with brain tumors or cancer, and for their friends and relatives.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 7 years ago
    • Members: ~2,000
    • Affiliation: None
  • Cancer Caregiver Support Group: A group for caregivers to a loved one with cancer.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 8 years ago
    • Members: ~1,500
    • Affiliation: None
  • Lung Cancer and Caregivers Support Group: A group for people with lung cancer and their caregivers.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 5 years ago
    • Members: ~11,500
    • Affiliation: None

Parkinson’s And Lewy Body Disease

  • Parkinson’s Disease: For those with Parkinson’s, Lewy Body, and their family and friends.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 8 years ago
    • Members: ~4,000
    • Affiliation: None

Hospice Support

  • Hospice & Palliative Care: News related to hospice and palliative care, stories of survival, and stories of loss.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 8 years ago
    • Members: ~1,800
    • Affiliation: None
  • Hospice & End of Life Care: A group formed with the goal of learning, encouraging, asking questions and sharing our experiences related to death, dying, hospice, end of life care, grief, and bereavement.
    • Facebook
    • Founded: 5 years ago
    • Members: ~10,000
    • Affiliation: Journey Care & Legacy, Inc.

Grief Support

  • Grief Support: A place to share stories, ask questions or seek advice about grief.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 10 years ago
    • Members: ~21,500
    • Affiliation: None
  • Grieving: A group committed to listening to and supporting others through their grief.
    • Reddit
    • Founded: 10 years ago
    • Members: ~2,500
    • Affiliation: None

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