The Heart of America Chapter is beginning to transition some, but not all, of our virtual support groups to in-person groups. Please note: It is still necessary to register in advance, even if the group is an in-person support group.
If you choose to participate in a virtual support group, all you need is a computer or Smartphone and access to the internet. During the registration process, a video conference link will be provided to you. At the time of the support group, click on the video conference link and join the group.
Connecting with others who have the same kinds of struggles as you do is an important part of coping with Alzheimer's disease. 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 participate in a support group?
While being part of 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.
All virtual groups are listed at Community Resource Finder. Just click 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.