When your spouse is ill, emotional support can assist you through the hard times, by providing an outlet for your emotions, a listening ear, and ideas about coping mechanisms that you might not have considered by yourself. Oftentimes, support groups will provide information on pain management or treatments that your spouse may undergo or how to inform young children about dealing with the illness. Specialists and in-home care referrals may also come through emotional support groups. Below are places where you can find emotional support when your spouse is ill.
If your spouse is receiving treatment at a hospital, the patient's advocacy or nurses might be able to provide you with information on support groups for other spouses dealing with the same type of illness. Many times, these groups meet in the hospital on a regular basis. Additionally, hospitals also share information about the support groups they host; therefore, even if one hospital does not have a particular support group, it may have information about another hospital that does offer such services.
The Treating Physician
If your spouse is seeing a specialist, the physician might have information on where to find emotional support groups. These groups will meet on a regular basis and may even be the very same ones the hospital referred you to upon request. If the physician does not know, he might be willing to do some research for you and contact you at a later date with the information.
Many churches serve as meeting groups for individual dealing with specific problems. While these groups may have a religious base to their meetings, they will nevertheless provide potential support for your spouse's illness. Similarly, if your church does not have a specific support group another option would be to meet with your church leaders separately.
National and local medical associations may contain a database of support groups for certain illnesses. These databases might not be completely up to date; the groups may have changed meeting locations or times, but they will offer you a place to start to research your local support groups. Moreover, medical associations may be able to identify specialists that would have more information on emotional support groups or to online groups that would provide you with support.
Due to the demands on member's lives and the need to care for an ill spouse, many support groups meet online. These groups often function through online chats that can be attended at any time. They are often also free. Because of their flexibility and the variety of their membership, which is usually nationwide, these support groups can be filled with more ideas and support than local group.
Unfortunately, many individuals dealing with an ill spouse do not tell others about their situation. Without informing others, they are unable to provide help, no matter how small that help may be. By simply informing friends and family what is going on in your life, you might find that they rise to the occasion and help you.