Power of Connection
All of us need other people in order to be well and thrive. We feel better just being around other people. And we need close relationships in order to be happy. Being a caregiver of aging adults or ill loved ones is an overwhelming and weighty responsibility. That’s why the power of connection with other caregivers is so important. It’s at the root of what we offer here at Leeza’s Care Connection.
Our centers offer various caregiver support programs on a weekly and monthly basis. Our free support groups provide a gathering place for caregivers to share their sorrows and problems, their joys and successes, find solutions and share resources. They serve as a kind of group therapy to help relieve caregiver role strain in a safe and nurturing environment.
A caregiver support group is a great way to share your troubles and find people who are going through the same experiences that you are living each day. If you can’t leave the house, many Internet groups are also available.
In most support groups, you’ll talk about your problems and listen to others talk; you’ll not only get help, but you’ll also be able to help others. Most important, you’ll find out that you’re not alone. You’ll feel better knowing that other people are in the same situation, and their knowledge can be invaluable, especially if they’re caring for someone with the same illness as you are.
Why Join a Support Group?
The advantages of joining a support group are limitless. Some of the best reasons to join include:
• Sharing common experiences and learning coping strategies
• Exploring and sharing solutions to problems
• Finding emotional outlets and receiving support from peers
• Forming new friendships and discovering a sense of community
• Developing new skills through education
• Helping others while still helping yourself
The benefits of making connections with other people are bountiful. Here are just a few:
Belonging to a group or community gives us a sense of identity. It helps us understand who we are and feel part of something larger than ourselves. Friends and family can also encourage and support us in healthy lifestyle habits, such as exercise and moderation.
Researchers have found that people are happier when they are with other people than when they are alone—and the “boost” is the same for introverts and extroverts. They also are finding that happy people are more pleasant, helpful, and sociable. So being around people makes us feel happier, and when we are happier we are more fun to be around, creating an “upward spiral” of happiness.
Happiness may be surprisingly contagious. Studies show that happiness benefits other people through three degrees of connection, and that the effects last for a year.
The positive effects from connecting with others are lasting. We are more likely to continue to want our close relationships, even after we attain them, and to continue to derive positive emotions from them.