Why Family Caregivers Should Join a Dementia Support Group
Just like anything else, being a caregiver to someone with memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, or any form of dementia has its rewards and challenges. You get to be a source of comfort, support and familiarity for your loved one, but you also have to manage health care duties, household chores and transportation. In America, there are almost 34 million people providing support to an aging loved one. And this number only continues to grow year after year.
So, how do you find balance between being a caregiver and a family member, and still maintain your individual lifestyle? This is a common struggle for family caregivers and it’s important for you to know you’re not alone. Dementia support groups for family caregivers exist for this very reason. Sometimes all you need is someone who understands.
Joining a Dementia Support Group
With the option to join in-person or online dementia support groups, there is no excuse not to participate. Finding a network of other caregivers to turn to for support, guidance and help is invaluable. Just like you, there are millions of caregivers around the country trying to navigate their way through this uncharted territory, and you should feel empowered to find help through a dementia support group.
Some of the major benefits of joining a dementia support group include:
- It’s there when you need it – While you may think you can navigate most things on your own, the second you feel lost, insecure or frustrated, there is someone to help. In-person meetings typically meet at consistent times, once a week. But if you join an online community, you can find support 24/7.
- It’s a safe space – Sometimes, there are going to be feelings or emotions you don’t want to discuss with your significant other, your siblings or even your closest friends. They can’t always understand exactly what you’re feeling or trying to express. Other caregivers understand the frustration, the guilt and the exhaustion, and won’t judge you for it.
- You can get personalized advice – Having the luxury of turning to a group for dementia support is very valuable. While you may have never experienced something with your loved one before, odds are, someone in the group has. Being able to ask for advice and avoid learning things the hard way is extremely beneficial.
- You can build meaningful relationships – Believe it or not, the relationships forged in in-person and online dementia support groups can be very strong. You’re connecting with these individuals on a personal and emotional level. When your loved one faces further mental decline, illness or even death, it can be comforting knowing you have a support system of people to turn to who truly understands your heartache.
How to Find Dementia Support Groups
Don’t let the thought of finding a support group near you stop you from taking the next step. There are a variety of options that will fit into your busy lifestyle and offer support when you need it most.
Some of these options include:
- Private Facebook support groups
- In-person support groups led by peers or professionals
- Message boards/online communities
- Senior living communities
- Local hospitals or medical centers
Being strong doesn’t mean carrying the burden of being a dementia caregiver alone. Find support anywhere you can, because at some point you’re going to need it, and there are millions of people out there willing to help.
Dementia Support Groups at The Ridge
In Utah, The Ridge Senior Living is a leader in educational outreach for dementia care and memory support. The Ridge Foothill and The Ridge Cottonwood provide training to local police and fire departments to help them better communicate with people living with dementia, and host dementia caregiver support groups that are free to everyone, even for those who don’t live at our communities. Find the date and time of our next complimentary session here.
Memory Care from The Ridge Senior Living
Ever wonder what it would be like for a loved one living in a memory care neighborhood? Get a day-in-the-life view of memory care at The Ridge. You can also learn more about our approach to memory care, and how we use the Montessori Method and respect individuality by enabling people to do and decide for themselves recognizing each resident as unique.
Look to The Ridge communities for unmatched comfort and compassion in memory care for your loved one, and to find support for yourself.