If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you know that, at times, nothing feels more isolating. Nobody truly understands the very special and challenging world in which you are living. Nobody understands those sleepless nights and how hard it is to get out of bed each morning. Nobody, that is, except perhaps another caregiver with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease.
That is why, as a caregiver, you need to connect with other caregivers. You need to be able to share your deepest fears and worst moments with those who intuitively understand. That’s what dementia support groups were created to do. They connect caregivers to each other; all in a supportive environment, facilitated by licensed professionals who know how to ensure that the needs of all participants are met.
Here are just a few of the benefits that a support group brings to family caregivers:
- Sound advice. Perhaps you have a difficult decision on the horizon. Or, possibly, you need to float some ideas from other family members and you want advice from other caregivers. This is an ideal platform to get solid advice from those who understand your issues.
- Ideas, research and options. Other caregivers may have some good tips for dealing with certain issues that you haven’t thought of. The facilitator should also be able to provide some of the latest research and help debunk any rumors, keeping you focused on reality and moving forward.
- Emotional support. This may be the strongest of all benefits. By surrounding yourself with others in similar situations you can support each other. Nothing does more to lift the spirits than to be of emotional help to others around you.
Finally, attending a dementia support group gets you out of your house and away from your day to day routine. It gives you something to look forward to, especially when you’ve had a tough week, knowing that you will have an hour or two to debrief, relax and form new, supportive relationships. Attending a support group represents a commitment to yourself to do something for yourself.
Our Anthem Memory Care communities hold regular dementia support groups. Take time to find one near you.
Every caregiver’s journey is unique. The path you travel will be different from anyone else’s. Finding a good dementia support group is the first step towards lighting that path ahead.