Support groups not only provide emotional support for amputees and their families, but also information and peer friendships. They have become integral parts of the lives of many amputees and their families, providing information and advice about medical treatments, research and strategies – through brochures, websites, and person-to-person sharing in the group meetings.
An amputation is such a life-changing event that it can be hard for the person to cope on his or her own. Moreover, the family of an amputee must also adapt to the situation.
Susan Tipton, national peer network coordinator for the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) said “Nobody can understand what it is like to be an amputee except another amputee. To be able to share your story with others in a similar situation is invaluable.”
Whether you are facing amputation for the first time, are a new amputee or have lived with limb loss for years the Amputee Coalition can help. Founded in 1986, the Amputee Coalition is a national nonprofit consumer health advocacy and education organization that provides extensive resources, peer support, outreach and education to all people affected by limb loss and limb differences, including family members, caregivers, healthcare professionals and the orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) industry. There are over 300 support groups registered with the Amputee Coalition. www.amputee-coalition.org/support-groups-peer-support. You can contact them to find one local to you.
In addition to their website, Amputee Coalition has an active Facebook support system – amputees giving support and advice to other amputees, answering questions, providing their own experiences, asking questions. www.facebook.com/AmputeeUSA
If your amputation is coincident to your military service on or after Sept. 11, 2001, Wounded Warrior Project – www.woundedwarriorproject.org provides support for mind, body, financial empowerment and networking with other veterans. “Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Whether you are newly injured or have been on the path to recovery for a while, WWP is here to support you as you define your new normal.”
Caregivers also may find themselves looking for answers, advice and peer friendships. Many medical facilities offer support groups. In Pompton Plains, NJ, Chilton Medical Center hosts a Caregiver Support Group those caring for a chronically ill or disabled loved one.
SUNSHINE PROSTHETICS & ORTHOTICS
We are happy to announce that beginning July 1st, we will be hosting our Sunshine Amputee Support Group the first Wednesday of every month from 6-8pm in our office at 1700 Route 23 North, Suite 180, Wayne, NJ 07470. For more information, you can call us at 973-696-8100