Caring for a loved one with chronic illness is difficult and emotionally draining. South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside has a support group that serves those caring for chronically-ill loved ones or friends where participants share and discuss the roles they juggle, their joys, their stresses, and their need for support.
The group provides consistent psycho-educational support for caregivers, normalizing their experiences and providing resources and education for specific identified needs, including goals of care, informed decision-making, communication skills, management of caregiver stress, advance directives, and community resources.
The bond of encouragement and support has produced an unforeseen outcome: when the caregiver's loved one is admitted to the ER and the caregiver is faced with decisions during a crisis, they call on support group facilitators. In one case, the group helped a woman caring for a terminally ill parent develop a plan for end-of-life care.