Get the emotional support you need
Support groups are confidential meetings of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's or their caregivers. You can learn helpful information and meet others going through similar situations.
Some groups meet monthly, others weekly, and they are free and open to anyone.
The groups are not run by the Alzheimer's Association, but the Association does provide group facilitators with training and support.
How do I find support groups in my area?
You can get help by visiting the Community Resource Finder
You can also call our 24/7 Helpline at (800) 272-3900.
Types of Support Groups
- Caregiver: Most of our support groups are non-specific caregiver groups, designed for someone who is caring for a loved one with a diagnosis of dementia near or far.
- Disease-Specific: Some Caregiver Groups are disease specific, such as Lewy Body Dementia, Frontal temporal dementia (Indicated in group type).
- Audience-Specific: Some caregiver groups are designed for specific audiences, such as Down's Syndrome, mindful caregiving, male caregivers, and so on.
- Younger-Onset Dementia: Specifically designed for families with a loved one diagnosed under the age of 65.
Who attends support groups?
People of all ages, races, genders, education levels and backgrounds. People who attend groups tend to be strong individuals who are looking to gain the best support available for themselves and their families. They want to learn about the disease and prepare for the future. Support groups allow them to help each other navigate the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.
What is a group like?
Most groups meet one or two times per month for 60-90 minutes and provide a combination of education and emotional support.
A typical group starts with a facilitator introducing him or herself and making announcements, and the members introducing themselves however they are comfortable doing so. A group may then follow-up with issues from the previous meeting, answer questions, provide educational information, or allow an open format for member discussion.
Groups conclude in a variety of ways, including...
- A deep-breathing exercise
- The facilitator providing handouts on topics discussed in the meeting
- Telling a "joke of the month"
- A ten-minute coffee break for members to chat informally
Why should someone attend a group?
Attending a group can be a vital for the health and wellbeing of both caregiver and patient.
Research has shown that support groups can not only reduce caregiver stress but also improve the functioning of people with Alzheimer’s, keep them living at home longer, and assist in managing difficult behaviors that may arise.
Support Group Misconceptions
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. In fact, 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 is a great place to laugh.
Click here for our full list of Support Groups in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.