We often hear from family members of loved ones newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease seeking their next steps. They will ask us, “What do we do now?”
It's a good question. And if this is your situation, it is important to first understand that your feelings are normal. Secondly, know that you are not alone. You have suddenly been thrust into a world you may know little to nothing of. So, you can’t be expected to deal with it all alone.
That is why our Anthem Memory Care communities host regular dementia support groups. Why are they so important? How do they benefit new family caregivers? Here are three key ways in which they can help:
- They connect. When you attend a support group you are instantly connected to others who are in similar situations. This gives you an instant outlet through which to share your own feelings in a supportive environment. Not only will it be easier to open up about your own challenges, you will be able to help other members of the group with theirs. And, as we all know, helping others is an excellent way to help ourselves.
- They inform. What you need now more than ever is information. You need to better understand the disease and gain insights as to what you can expect over the next several years. Moreover, you need solid resources to help you along your journey. Our dementia support groups are led by licensed professionals who are up to date on the latest research and resources. They are in the best position to guide you each step of the way.
- They strengthen. Leaning into the challenges of other family caregivers and sharing your own issues brings you a new source of strength to tackle the day to day challenges you face as a new caregiver. Doing so in a non-judgmental, caring, and supportive environment creates a space that brings renewed strength and resolve. You will soon begin to get your footing and feel more able to care for your loved one and deal with other family members in healthy ways that keep the relationships strong.
Making the move to join a dementia support group is an important commitment to yourself. It is a reason to get out of the house and take a break from all your other commitments, knowing that this is your time to meet your own emotional needs.
The next move is yours. We urge you to take it by contacting an Anthem Memory Care community near you and arrange to attend the next support group. Do it for your loved one, do it for your family and, most importantly, do it for yourself.