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When it Feels Like Others Can’t Understand

When it Feels Like Others Can’t Understand

Where do you turn when aspects of your life are difficult and you feel like others can’t understand what you’re experiencing? Maybe you’re facing the challenges of living with a chronic disease like diabetes, lung disease or arthritis. Perhaps you or someone you know is struggling to care for a loved one with dementia. Washington Hospital offers a number of support groups to help community members dealing with these and other issues.

“Sometimes just talking to others in the same situation can help,” said Kayla Gupta, Community Outreach Manager at Washington Hospital. “Our support groups provide a caring place to turn for anyone who could use a little extra understanding.”

The support groups are open to all community members, regardless of medical insurance provider. Some of the groups are in person and others are available through Zoom meetings.

Support groups may be needed for various reasons. “The stroke support group helps individuals who have had a stroke learn to understand what their new normal may be. Patients who have had strokes are not always comfortable around others, particularly if they are still in the process of recovering and haven’t gained full function. In the support group, they are with others facing some of the same changes to their lifestyle and can learn from those who are further along on their healing journey,” Gupta explained.

Living with a chronic condition can also be difficult. Lifestyle changes, medications, and the loss of health and mobility can be overwhelming. Support groups provide an outlet where people can share their experiences and learn from others who understand.

Caregivers Welcome

Looking after someone with a medical condition can take a heavy toll on caregivers and family members. That’s why caregivers and loved ones are welcomed at WHHS support group meetings.

The support groups are designed to provide information and connect people who are experiencing similar challenges. Some groups feature formal presentations in addition to discussion group time, when members can talk about what is on their mind.

“One of the common aspects among all the support groups is that members learn valuable information from others in the group,” Gupta noted. “Participants are eager to share useful information and resources that can help make the journey a little easier for other patients, families and loved ones.”

In addition to the Grief Support Group and the Stroke Support Group, there are support groups for people with breathing conditions, breast cancer, diabetes, and other types of cancer. The Mended Hearts Group provides support to those who have had heart surgery, a heart attack, angioplasty, or other heart conditions and procedures.

“Caregiving can be incredibly challenging, both emotionally and physically,” Gupta added. “You aren’t only caring for another person, you are also working through your own issues. Caregivers are always putting others’ needs in front of their own, but they should also look after themselves so they have the energy to care for others.”

A complete list of support groups is included in the latest Washington Hospital Health & Wellness catalog, available online and in print. For an online list, with meeting times and dates, visit or call 800.963.7070.