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Finding Support Groups for Dementia Caregivers

Many caregivers find support groups to be a wonderful source of information and inspiration. Dementia support groups for caregivers are usually coordinated by local Alzheimer’s Association or Area Agency on Aging chapters. Such caregiver support groups are usually held once a month at community locations such as churches, hospitals or even assisted living centers or senior centers. A group will usually meet for 1-2 hours.

Support groups are usually organized and led by a moderator. Typically, when the group begins the moderator first welcomes everyone and makes general announcements or distributes articles or information. Then each caregiver has the opportunity to introduce him/herself and to talk a little bit about his or her situation and their loved one with dementia. Caregivers are encouraged to discuss problems and frustrations and to cry or laugh. Others in the group will often offer suggestions or solutions and share similar stories – it can be a real comfort to learn that you are not alone. Some caregivers may prefer to listen rather than share their story, which is also fine. Guest speakers may occasionally speak to a group, such as an ombudsman who will discuss legal issues or a nurse who will explain new medications for dementia. However, most caregivers find that the biggest benefit of attending a group is having some time to share their story with people who "get it", and getting strong support and encouragement from other caregivers.

Resources

Find Your Chapter

Source: Alzheimer's Association
Description: This web page allows caregivers to search for local Alzheimer's chapters by state or by zip code, providing addresses, phone numbers, and websites of local Alzheimer's support groups and educational workshops.

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