When I first started this blog, my intent was to create a virtual support group; a place on-line that people, like me, who could not get away to attend support group meetings could get together on-line. While this blog has allowed me to make many new friends and to gain support periodically from each of you, it doesn’t allow for that “personal” touch. But I have an idea that might just work….let me know what you think.
Have you ever heard of Skype? Skype is an online phone service that is free and allows you to both talk to and see whom you’re calling. Lynn uses it to speak to book clubs about his book and while it’s not always the best picture (depends on the equipment being used of course), it allows you to meet the people on the other end of the conversation. Skype also offers an option for video conferencing which enables the subscriber to have multiple pictures of callers up at the same time. There is a fee for this but it’s only $10/month if someone wanted that option. See where I’m going with this?
If enough people were interested, we could have a virtual support group of caregivers. From the location of our own home, we could reach out from across the country or even overseas to meet each other and share a “real time” conversation. By getting together on-line in this manner we could attend a support group while still caring for our family members. Many laptops now have webcam capabilities built in but I’ve looked into buying a webcam and you can get some good ones for less than $50. Skype has some listed as five stars that are around $25. I’m very technology illiterate so I may be missing something that would not make this possible, but I don’t see why not?
If you’re interested, I was thinking maybe once a month, on a Saturday afternoon, we could designate an hour to talk about whatever is going on that month. I’m not a therapist or a counselor so this would not be a therapy session; just a group of caregivers who share a common challenge who get together to encourage and support one another. I don’t know if it would work but I think God put this on my mind as an option to reach out to support people in a more personal way. I would still do my blog but this would be a separate project.
So, what do you think? If you’re interested, let me know. If there’s enough interest, I’ll buy the subscription to Skype for group video conferencing. I think you could call in and just view me if you only want the free subscription or if you also subscribed to video conferencing, you could see everyone else who calls in. I’m not sure about that though but it makes sense that you could. So give it some thought and we’ll see if there’s any interest. I’ll get back to you in about a month to let you know if there’s enough interest and when the first meeting would be.
Be “seeing” you soon?