An evident fact is that having an ostomy bag is permanent. It is difficult at first since you are adjusting to this new part of your daily routine. There are changes to most, if not all aspects of your life. These include your diet, how you participate in physical activities, and the constant reminder to empty your ostomy bag.
Nevertheless, everything doesn’t need to be tough. There are support groups out there available to assist you regarding ostomy care and your daily routine. There is no shame in joining these people. They offer benefits that can help ease your transition to a life with an ostomy bag. Additionally, you may gain tips and life hacks on how certain things can be done.
If you still need convincing on whether you truly need the assistance of an ostomy care support group, here are five benefits you can get from participating in their sessions. Continue reading to know more.
5 Benefits of Attending Ostomy Care Support Groups
1. Gives You a Sense of Belonging
One of the most significant benefits of attending ostomy care support groups is realising that you are not alone in your struggle. The people participating in these sessions know what you are going through. You won’t feel any sense of alienation as they promote acceptance. Furthermore, the welcoming environment provides you with an avenue to express your feelings knowing that they won’t fall on deaf ears.
2. Provides Tips and Advice
Since all of the people attending ostomy care support groups have experience in taking care of an ostomy bag, you can expect to gain useful information and tips on how to handle specific situations. While professionals, such as nurses and dieticians, provide great advice, there is also the knowledge that you can learn from individuals with ostomy bags. Be it their favourite barrier cream brand or how they dealt with a broken urine bag. There is something worth keeping in mind.
3. Lowers Anxiety
It is common for individuals facing a significant change in their life to feel distressed. Attending ostomy care support groups can help you overcome your anxiety. Since one of the primary goals of these sessions is to provide you with an avenue to share your struggles, you can expect people to listen to you and offer you advice. Participating in these support groups can bring relief and improvements to your mental health.
4. Gives You Hope
As you begin to hear the tips and advice from fellow individuals with an ostomy bag, you start to gain a brighter outlook on your future. In situations where you felt powerless, others felt the same and managed to overcome it. Simply hearing their journey empowers you to become better.
5. Provides an Avenue to Help Others
If you decide to make your attendance to ostomy care support groups a part of your life, you will notice your transition from a newcomer to someone who offers tips and comfort to new members. Furthermore, time does not dictate who has more experience. You can still have suggestions for others as people go through their life with an ostomy bag differently.
Now that you know the benefits of attending an ostomy care support group, there are tips you need to know that can help you get the most out of your first experience. Continue reading the article to learn more.
5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your First Ostomy Care Support Group Experience
1. Just Go
You might feel anxious to attend your first ostomy care support group meeting. There might be countless questions lingering on your mind. However, you need to realise that you are holding yourself back from the help that you can get from the session. Just do it. Force yourself to attend one. Research ostomy care support groups in your area or consult your doctor for recommendations.
2. Remain Open & Honest
While no one in your ostomy care support group will force you to share your experience, opening yourself to others is the first step toward adjusting to life with an ostomy bag. If you cannot share everything, it is enough to tell everyone enough about your struggles. Never forget that the people attending these meetings know what you are going through. They won’t judge you and would even offer suggestions to help you overcome your challenges.
3. Respect Privacy
Ostomy care support groups value the necessity of keeping whatever people share privately. No matter your intentions, refrain from sharing the stories other people talk about during a meeting. If you cannot stop yourself, avoid sharing personal details. Keep the story as general as possible.
4. Ask Questions
Another step to maximising your ostomy care support group experience is to ask questions. It doesn’t matter how simple or stupid you think it is, as long as it can help you in your struggles. Furthermore, there is a possibility that someone had the same question as you have but are too shy to bring it up.
5. Be Involved
The last tip and one of the most crucial things you need to remember is to involve yourself in the ostomy care support group. Remember that everyone else is there for the same reasons as you. Share your thoughts, questions, and experiences. Immerse yourself in the session, and you might realise sooner or later the changes it had on you. Sitting in silence will never help you adjust to life with an ostomy bag.
Attending ostomy care support groups is an experience that can empower you to become a better person. No matter your struggles, the people participating in these meetings will help you overcome them. You don’t have to face your life with an ostomy bag alone. Countless individuals can offer their help to you. If you are too anxious to go, remind yourself of the benefits of these sessions. Remember to keep these tips in mind to help you get the most out of your first support group meeting.
Coloplast Singapore offers products, such as a barrier cream. Visit their website today for their list of ostomy care items.