When caring for a family member with a disability, it can be hard to find a way to meet others who understand your situation or even get a break where you can get some time to yourself. If you want to be able to form friendships with others who are also dealing with the same issues that you are, you may have to seek them out yourself. Starting your own network of those that care for those with disabilities on a day to day basis may give you the supportive system that you need.
Talk to your local social services agency. Sometimes there is information available for learning how to start a caregiver support group for the disabled. There might be a few that meet already that you can go to. If none fit your needs, checking them out may still give you ideas to brainstorm on how to begin the process of creating your own.
Find a meeting place. Figuring out an appropriate place to meet, that is large enough and handicap accessible may be a challenging endeavor in it’s own right. Inquire about your local church’s facilities or hospital’s conference rooms is a good place to start. If you are planning a small member base at first, there may even be the option of trading off hosting the meetings in your homes at first.
Look into funding for how to start a caregiver support group for the disabled. After finding out the rates or renting places, contact your local social services agency again and ask about any grants available for the purpose. Other options include asking local business for sponsorship or even charging a membership fee to cover expenses.
Find staff to help care for your family member while away if this is for the caregivers only or at the meeting find out about being able to have licensed people there to watch over a meeting for the people with disabilities as well. If you can turn this into a night for both individuals, more people are likely to sign up. This is especially true if fees are involved.
Print up fliers and hang up around your community. Make sure to include all of the information such as for who it is dates, times, locations and fees. Place them in doctor’s offices, drug stores and other places that you frequently visit as that about guarantees that others like you go there too.
When figuring out how to start a caregiver support group for the disabled, just keep in mind that when faced with challenges you don’t give up until you succeed. That is already your life’s mantra; this should be no different.