Whether you are a new amputee or have been one for a long time, participating in an amputee support group can offer you many benefits. Amputee support groups can provide a network for locating healthcare providers, finding adaptive equipment, just meeting new friends, or perhaps sharing your knowledge with new amputees. Fortunately today, around the United States and internationally, there are hundreds of such groups.
These groups can provide the following:
- An opportunity to make new amputee friends you feel comfortable with and who can help motivate and encourage you. Many amputees talk about the immediate camaraderie they experience when they meet other amputees.
- An opportunity to be with people who can empathize with your situation in a nonjudgmental way.
- An environment where you can have fun without being self-conscious about your limb loss. Some support groups plan events, such as bowling nights, swimming parties, or picnics, where their members can spend time with other amputees in a casual setting.
- An opportunity to learn how limb loss will impact your future.
- An opportunity to participate in educational sessions or meetings. Some groups invite guests to speak on a variety of topics that might interest you.
- A centralized location for storing amputation-related resources. Some groups have a wealth of books, pamphlets, magazines, and videos that you can borrow.
- An opportunity to advocate for causes that benefit individuals with limb loss.
- An opportunity to benefit from the combined experience of many amputees. Having access to so many experienced amputees could help you avoid having to learn many things by trial and error, saving you a lot of money, time, frustration, and headaches.
While support groups can offer numerous benefits, it can be psychologically difficult to get involved the first time. You might think that participating in a support group will be a waste of time, or that you are doing just fine all alone, or that participating in a support group is a sign of emotional weakness.
Although you might be hesitant at first, consider giving it a chance. Like many amputees who have reluctantly gone to their first support group meeting, you too might find it a life-changing experience.
How to Locate a Peer Support Group
To find a support group in your area, visit www.amplitude-media.com/supportgroups. More groups will be listed soon. You may also visit the Amputee Coalition’s Support Group Network page. If you do not find a group in your area, try contacting a local hospital or rehabilitation facility, looking for listings in your local phone book, searching the Internet, or watching for meeting announcements in your local newspaper.
Support group leaders: Be sure to register your support group at the Amplitude website. We offer another great way to let amputees know about your group.
For more helpful information like this, order your copy of the Limb Loss Resource Guide today at https://www.oandp.com/secure/amplitude-media.