Are you new to Alzheimer’s caregiving for a profession? You must then be unaware of the need to join support groups for Alzheimer’s caregivers. By doing so, you can avoid experiencing burnout for finding support from others. Essentially, being a part of a group means some people listen to our predicaments. These same people are the same persons who can share your joys, too, as a caregiver.
Undoubtedly, and surely, most caregivers will agree that there are lots of advantages of caring for a family member or even a close friend who has Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, caregivers, including you, may also agree that many challenges are involved during the different phases of AD. Most caregivers specializing in Alzheimer’s have already encountered such challenges first-hand. Thus, coping with this job usually engenders burnout, a feeling of isolation, and physical and emotional exhaustion.
Why should an Alzheimer’s caregiver join a support group?
Since you’re new in this profession, you probably haven’t realized yet, the importance of joining and participating in support groups. Relatively, research studies have it that support is indeed essential to health and well-being, especially of long-term caregivers. More so, you’ll find various types of Alzheimer’s caregivers support organizations, peer support groups, professional facilitators, educational support groups, and lecturers’ organizations featuring speakers, among others. However, before you discover which group you’d fit in, here are the 5 main reasons why you should join one.
- The support group can act as a positive outlet that provides an Alzheimer’s caregiver with a regular time slot every week for social interactions outside his or her home.
- The same group can also offer you a safe place where you can express any negative emotions such as grief, anger, and frustration, and have it validated. Meaning, the group can help you as a member and participant, feel that you are not alone.
- You can share ideas with your fellow caregivers in the group. These are ideas on how you all deal differently with every day the struggles you encounter of caring for someone during each phase of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Alzheimer’s caregivers are given the great opportunity of helping others who are new to the job by offering them tips on what is and is not working well for them.
- Support groups like this help you as a caregiver maintain balance by doing something for yourself rather than always taking care of your loved one or client with Alzheimer’s disease.
Which group to join
As earlier mentioned, caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s can be very challenging and take a remarkable toll on the health of the caregiver. Luckily, support groups for Alzheimer’s caregivers can offer support, as well as reassurance that you need to take time and control stress for your very own much-needed care. Here are some of the support groups, as recommended by Alzheimers.net, you can join and participate in:
1. Alzheimer’s Association Local Support Groups
The Alzheimer’s Association, through its local support groups, provides a place where activities of support groups are facilitated. Such activities include the exchange of information, “talk through challenges,” learning about resources within the community.
2. Eldercare Locator
You can join this support group through the U.S. Administration on Aging. Moreover, the Eldercare Locator functions by connecting caregivers with other support groups, local community resources, and other services like training and counseling to assist those caring for senior loved ones.
3. Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA)
This support group sponsors an unmoderated free online community where caregivers, care partners, and families can discuss their concerns, challenges, and rewards of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Through FCA, caregivers can exchange ideas through internet-based message boards.
4. Memory People
This is a closed support group. Meaning only caregivers who are official members can access the group, which supports people who are actively interested in information about Alzheimer’s. In connection to this, it is the main objective of the group to provide comfort. It also aims to be a means for caregivers to share experiences.
5. Veteran’s Administration Caregiver Support
This support group is for family members who care for a veteran. As such, they can call the group if there is a need for them to talk to. They can reach out to the organization as well if they need information on local support services for veterans’ caregivers. More so, the VA Caregiver Support facilitates the Caregiver Connections, an online forum that shares stories, and connects with other caregivers.
Aside from participating in support groups, your health is essential, too, to make caregiving a career worth having. That is what these 5 easy ways are here for–to ensure you are living a healthy life while caring for people living with Alzheimer’s.
- Eat right
- Exercise regularly
- Be sure to have ‘Me Time’ and do the personal activities you love doing
- See support from a group (choose 1 from above)
- Socialize with your fellow caregivers