I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

11 January 2011

Why Virtual Support Groups Are Crucial For Care Givers

Art by Steve Dean
My blog began as a vehicle to help me share information with my family and anyone else who cared to read about my health discoveries.

Health discoveries that my mom helped me to find because she had health problems to solve.  We solved one issue at a time which I documented here within the pages of this blog over the last 2 plus years.

I've met lots of very nice Care Givers because of my blog.  We have become a virtual support group for each other, reading each others blog posts and commenting with words of encouragement when they are needed.

Care Givers live a challenging life.  Often we are all left standing in a stagnant pool that gets stinkier the longer we stand in it.  Our feet set in the mud, often immobilizing us, leaving us wonder how the hell we are going to get out by ourselves.  Fortunately, Care Giver Bloggers help each other ... it's phenomenal.

It's during these times when I feel overwhelmed with Care Giving that one of my Internet Support Group friends comes to my rescue.  They'll leave me a comment that brightens my day and feeds me the fortitude to keep on keeping on even when things seem so dark.  These are the folks who hold the light for me so that I can see my way to a bit of peace; sometimes I hold the light for them.  We have an unspoken sisterhood (or brotherhood) with each other that makes coping with our duties much easier.

Last week, I wrote about my mom and the Invisible Bathroom.  One of my blogger friends emailed me and told me what she does for her mom to help avoid some toileting mishaps.  Her advice was spot on.

I need to share what I have learned with others who one day may stumble upon my words in a frantic search to solve a similar incontinence problem with a loved one.

Jan lives in the UK and cares for her mom with Alzheimer's in her home with her husband.  We have a common bond, we are care givers.  Through the power of the internet and email, Jan and I have become good friends, she is a sweet soul.

In an email, Jan told me what she does to help her mom who had a similar toileting issue; the bathroom went missing.  Jan recommended leaving a low watt light on in my mom's bedroom and a low watt light of similar strength in the bathroom.

I gave this idea a shot, I was hopeful.  I did keep a low wattage light on in mom's bedroom at night but the bathroom I had left the bright bathroom light on every night.  No wonder my mom couldn't see the toilet.  The light was too bright leaving her blind to the room with the toilet.  For months my mom has walked past the bathroom attached to her bedroom, piddling all over the house and sometimes, even leaving a turd trail for me to clean in the morning.

Now, since I put an equal strength light in the bathroom as is in her bedroom, my mom is able to find the toilet in the middle of the night!  I haven't had to clean pee or shit off the floors in several days since I used the light trick.

Thanks to my newest blogger friend Jan, my problem of cleaning up after my mom has appeared to come to an end.  Thank you Jan.  I'm grateful for your friendship; your advice was awesome.

Virtual support groups are key to helping their fellow Care Giver who is isolated wade through the muck and get to dry land.  I love my virtual support group.  Thank you all for holding the light when it was too dark for me to see.


  1. And Thank YOU for holding it for us!!

    I too find it amazing that we can have a terrible day, be ready to throw in the towel and run far and fast away, then read one of our "sister/brother" caregivers is struggling and we are there to encourage and lift each other up.
    I know for one you have lifted me more that I have told you in the midst of all you deal with. You go the extra mile to dig deep and send an extra strand of rope. :)


  2. Thank you Kathy... you have helped me to keep on keeping on. I love your writing. You have a keen ability to capture what it's like for Care Givers for LBD folks. Because of your posts, I am better prepared when a change occurs. I especially like the post that you wrote that shows Hubby's changes over the last couple of years. I found it extremely helpful.