In this 5-part series we are exploring each of the unique elements of our model that together holistically transform the wellbeing of carers. In this first article we take a look at Carers Support Groups.
Carers support groups are village level self-help groups that bring local carers together. The groups help to reduce the loneliness and isolation facing carers, and give them an opportunity to create social networks which support emotional wellbeing.
Carers groups usually meet once a month. The meetings give carers an opportunity to discuss their challenges with caring, provide advice to one another, and receive information and guidance about local support from our project staff.
As of now we have 557 active carer groups with over 12,000 members across India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Tribeni Carers Group, based in the state of Odisha, India is one of those 557 groups. Formed in December 2017, the group consists of 16 carers from 7 villages, each of whom cares for a relative with a disability or long term health condition.
One member of Tribeni Carers Group is 36-year-old Phulamati who cares for her mother Rukna. Phulamati is a regular attender of the group and since joining, she has learned lots of useful information including becoming aware of government schemes that her family can access to relieve financial pressure.
Being a member of the group has increased Phulamati’s confidence and she now represents other carers at her Block-Level carers group and in the District Federation.
The success of our carers groups in reducing loneliness and helping to forge links with other carers is obvious: 78% of carers involved in our projects report improvements in their health and well-being.
Although COVID-19 has restricted face to face carers group meetings, carers are keeping in touch with their groups via telephone and Social Media, with many virtual group chats taking place.
Explore our blog to discover more examples of how our carers groups are a great tool for carers. Don’t forget to check back next week when we discuss the health aspect of our model.