One of the greatest things about social media is that it makes it easy for people to connect to virtually whomever they want, from wherever they are, at any time of the day or night. Did you know that 41% of caregivers find support online through social media and other forums? Social media is a great place for those who are caring for a loved one to connect with other caregivers who can empathize, share personal stories, and offer helpful first-hand advice. If you’re a caregiver who is interested in utilizing social media to find support and get connected with resources, here are some suggestions for how to get started, as well as some safety concerns to be aware of.
Social Media Support Groups for Caregivers
You can find many support groups on Facebook. Some of those include:
- Memory People
- Dementia Caregivers Support Group
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers Support
- Caregivers Connect
- Caring for Elderly Parents
This is just a small sampling of the thousands of Facebook groups in existence. To find a group on Facebook, use the search bar at the top. Facebook will serve up a list of suggested groups based on the keywords you’ve entered. You can also select the “Groups” tab to the left of your feed. Here, under the “Discover” tab, Facebook will make suggestions of groups to join based off of your interests and demographics.
Twitter is a great place to connect with caregiving experts using the#caregivers and #caregiving hashtags. It is a great way to ask questions, get important information quickly, and engage with others in the caregiving community. There are also frequent caregiving-related twitter chats (see brief schedule here) where you can tune in and discuss relevant topics in real-time.
Caregiving blogs and podcast, published/recorded by past or present caregivers and/or industry professionals, can be a great resource as you navigate your caregiving journey. The top caregiving blogs online include Caring.com, The Caregiver Space, Transition Aging Parents, The Caregiver’s Voice, CareGiving.com, EldercareABC, eCareDiary, Daily Caregiving, Caring for Parents Made Easy, and Caring Village’s own resource section. The top caregiving podcasts include Your Caregiving Journey, Dave, the Caregivers Caregiver, Life is a Sacred Journey, Agewyz, Caregiver SOS, Caregivers’ Circle, and Happy Healthy Caregiver.
Social Media Safety
When spending time on social media be aware of:
- Scammers: people looking to anonymously take advantage of your vulnerabilities to get information from or scam you.
- False or Misleading Information: finding information online may seem right, but make sure to always validate any health or medical recommendations with a physician.
- Disengaging from in-person interaction: Social media is social, but don’t forget the importance of getting out there and engaging with friends and family in person from time to time
Social media allows you to stay connected with your friends and family, while providing you with the opportunity to connect with new people outside of your circle. So start getting social today!