February 16, 2021
It’s nice to know I’m not alone
Support is an essential piece of healing and often the best support comes from those who have similar experiences. ABF recognizes the importance of peer lead support and offers a group for burn survivors to come together and share their stories. In the fall of 2020, ABF decided to extend this model of peer support to the family members of burn survivors and created the Caregiver and Parent Support Group; a space specifically for loved ones to come together and build a community.
On the second Tuesday of every month, parents, caregivers and loved ones of burn survivors come together to meet virtually and share their stories. The group is a mix of caregivers who have been walking through healing with their burn survivors for years and caregivers who are just now starting to navigate the long road of healing. One group member described the group as diverse and stated, “we are all different but all have the same thing in common: a loved one who has suffered due to burns”. Another shared that she valued the diversity of the group as “those who have been in this for years can help to validate experiences and emotions” of those who are newer.
This support group is an open topic forum, allowing members to share whatever might be on their minds that evening. This means that a variety of topics are covered; dressing changes, pain, advocacy, stress, self-image, and how they can continue to take care of their own needs in the midst of everything else. Participants who share their feelings are immediately met by others who say, “I’ve felt that way too” followed by advice that can only come from experience. Group members share that they leave the group feeling less alone and more connected to a community full of strength and power.
When asked why they come and what they hope others know about the group, two members summed it up beautifully. One shared, “the emotional rollercoaster is hard but you don’t have to do it alone” while another shared that, “it’s nice to hear that it’s completely normal to feel this way.”
If you are the caregiver, parent or loved one who is interested in attending this support group, please email us at [email protected] for details.