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8 Benefits of Using Online Support Groups When Caring For a Person With a Disability

If you care for someone with a disability, connecting with people in a similar situation can help. It's a good way for you to access much-needed support. Plus you can also share your story with people going through similar experiences.

As a carer, taking care of your physical and emotional wellbeing is essential. Looking after yourself helps you to care for your loved one. Support groups are a great way to help you focus on your own needs. They can help you reduce stress and offer you comfort and support.

As online support groups continue to grow, joining one as a parent or carer has many benefits.

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1. Access help whenever you need it

Unlike traditional support groups, an online support group means you can log on at any time. This allows you to talk with or listen to others in a similar situation when it suits you. This can be a bonus if you prefer to communicate at night or on the weekends.

2. Know you’re not alone

As a caregiver, you can experience moments of isolation. An online support group offers relief by chatting with people in similar situations. People who understand the highs and lows of what they’re going through. A support group offers disability carers a safe space to discuss their feelings. Because you know you're talking to people who understand.

3. Access practical advice

By talking to other caregivers, you can learn and access information about:

  • national disability insurance scheme (NDIS)

  • treatment options

  • services

  • products

  • and other helpful information

Knowing where to seek help as a caregiver can be overwhelming. Especially when first dealing with a diagnosis. Support groups can help you better understand what to expect as a caregiver. And how to navigate the disability system in Australia.

4. Shared experience

Many carers can find relief and empowerment through sharing their stories. Sharing without worrying about judgement is important. Particularly those uncomfortable truths we usually keep only to ourselves as carers. Sharing helps you access understanding - from someone who knows what you’re going through.

5. Offers a different perspective

Although there are many benefits of linking up with a local support group, groups are also available worldwide. These groups can allow you to connect with a diverse group of people from all over the world. Who can offer interesting and helpful insights that may affect your caregiving.

6. Provides self-care

Carers can often neglect their own self-care, always focusing on the needs of their loved ones. But prioritising and developing your self-care strategies are essential to maintaining your health. Establishing a balance can help you to provide better care for your loved one over the long term. Hearing others' strategies can inspire carers to take action to manage their own self-care.

7. Reduces loneliness

If you’re struggling with isolation as a caregiver, an online group can offer connection. As humans, relationships with other people are essential. Connection with family, friends and the community, can help provide security, support, happiness and a sense of purpose. Connection is also important for our mental and physical well-being.

8. Normalises feelings

Normalising some of the common feelings you may experience as a carer can be helpful. Such as worry, anxiety, or even resentment at times. Sharing can help you create a more positive mental attitude. Talking to others can be therapeutic and help you to confirm your feelings.

Where to access online support groups

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There are many different ways to access online and offline support groups. For example, state government websites and other disability service providers. Or you could consider starting your own.

You may also wish to search online or on social media to access groups that are relevant to your area or situation. Local groups can be especially useful to help answer practical questions.

Such as:

  • how to access the NDIS portal

  • where to turn for information about disability pension

  • how to organise a disability support worker

Jump online and check out the options available to see what might work for you.

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