Q. Recently my dad was diagnosed with cancer, and I've chosen to take on being his primary caregiver. This is a emotional and stressful experience. I am staying at their house 3 hours away from my husband and friends, making it more difficult. Every online support group is geared towards young adult spouses, and I'm one year too old to qualify. Do you know of any support groups online for my situation?

A.

Being a primary caregiver can absolutely be an emotional and stressful experience – and in your case, made more difficult by the fact that you are also far from your husband and friends. Joining a support group is a wonderful first step in finding a community of others who “get it.” Being connected with people who understand and who are possibly facing some of the same struggles and questions can be hugely meaningful. I am so glad you’re reaching out for this kind of support and please know that we do offer an online group for you.

Our Online Young Adult Caregiver Support Group would be a great option; the majority of participants are caring for a parent just as you are. While this group and our other young adult groups are usually aimed at people between the ages of 20 and 39, we are flexible. For someone like yourself who is still so close in age and prefers this type of group, we can certainly make it available to you. To join, we do ask that you complete a short online screening to confirm that the group will meet your needs and expectations.

I also want to mention that CancerCare offers short-term telephone counseling provided by licensed oncology social workers. Many of our online group members choose to supplement their group experience with individual counseling. If you are interested in learning more or possibly enrolling, I encourage you to call CancerCare’s Hopeline at 800-813-4673. All the calls are answered by oncology social workers who can get you connect you with support. Our hours are Mondays to Thursdays 9 a.m. -7 p.m. EST and Fridays 9 a.m. -5 p.m.

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