What are support groups?
Connecting with others who have the same kinds of struggles as you do is an important part of coping with Alzheimer's disease. The Central and Western Kansas Chapter provides regularly scheduled, confidential meetings of persons diagnosed with Alzheimer's and/or their caregivers. Groups are facilitated by trained professionals or former family caregivers, whose primary purpose is to provide knowledge about Alzheimer's disease while allowing members to receive support and encouragement from others in a similar situation. Some meet each month, others biweekly.
Who attends support groups?
People of all ages, races, genders, education levels and backgrounds. Although many members join when they are feeling overwhelmed and uncertain, people who attend groups tend to be strong individuals who are looking to gain the best support available for themselves and their families and who want to learn about the disease, and prepare for the future. It also allows an opportunity for participants to help each other deal with the challenges of Alzheimer's disease.
Why attend a support group?
While attending a group is not the solution for all, it can be a vital part of maintaining the health and well-being of both caregiver and patient. Groups provide vital education about managing dementia care that reduces stress for all involved. Research has shown that attending a support group can not only reduce caregiver stress, but improve the functioning of people with Alzheimer's, keep them living at home longer, and assist in managing difficult behaviors that may arise.
Many people don't attend a group because they think they are depressing or someplace you go if you can't cope. But the opposite is true! Groups help you cope. Studies have found that the least depressed caregivers attend a group. And group members themselves have often found that while the group is a good place to cry if you need to, it is also a great place to laugh.
Check to see if there is a group close to you that fits your needs by logging on to Community Resource Finder and clicking on 'ALZHEIMER'S PROGRAMS AND EVENTS' then 'ALZHEIMER'S SUPPORT GROUPS' or if you prefer, call our 24/7 Helpline at 1.800.272.3900.