Facebook is a popular social media tool for connecting with others. Increasingly, people are also using Facebook to keep friends and family updated on a loved one’s health care journey and to share their own caregiving struggles. Following are some considerations for using Facebook while caregiving.

Create a private Facebook group.

Consider starting your own private Facebook group, and send invitations to family and friends who want to support you and your loved one. With your loved one’s permission, post general updates and share specific ways people can help. If your loved one has recently died, a private Facebook group can also be a loving place for friends and family to share photos and memories. Click here for help.

Some people worry about venting too much on social media and driving friends away. Yet many find it therapeutic when social media reflects the reality of their situation rather than only the positive aspects of their lives. Still, it’s important to avoid revealing sensitive medical information about another person publically.

Join a Facebook support group.

You can also join a closed, private Facebook support group for people in a similar situation as yours. For example, Memory People is an Alzheimer’s and dementia support group. It offers caregivers, patients and advocates a safe place to find comfort and support.

“Like” pages for tips and articles.

Facebook can also be useful for research. By “liking” a few pages related to your loved one’s illness, aging or caregiving, you can stay posted on caregiving tips, articles and the latest medical research. Following are several pages that may be useful:

  • End AlZ
  • AARP
  • American Heart Association-Healthy Living
  • Stand Up To Cancer
  • Family Caregiver Alliance

Caring for a loved one can be all-consuming and, at times, isolating. That’s why it’s so important to find safe places to connect with others, ask questions, seek help and share frustrations. Facebook has evolved into one such avenue for support, connection and education.