The first meeting of the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group will meet on Thursday, February 16, 11:00 am to Noon, in the Education Room at Prowers Medical Center. Subsequent meetings will be held on the third Thursday of each month at PMC, same room and time.
All area caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease, or other dementias, are encouraged to attend the newly formed support group – a place where all caregivers will be welcomed by others who are experiencing the same care responsibilities. Caregivers who choose to attend the group meetings will be assured that their sharing of personal information will be respected and kept in confidence within the group. Each individual group member is expected to be respectful of the group process, as well as to preserve other members’ and families’ right to confidentiality outside the group.
Discussion of both successes and frustrations are extremely helpful to those caregivers who attend support groups – even more so when group members begin to utilize the discussions to formulate more effective care practices and approaches that are shared among group members. Once put into practice at home, these suggested approaches can, and often do, lead to more comfortable days and nights for their loved ones. Most importantly, caregivers who attend groups regularly speak very positively of the group’s effect on their own lives in which they, all too often. find themselves experiencing fatigue and burnout. Group sharing has a way of putting caregivers, who are traveling a similar traumatic path, in touch with one another. This bonding lessens the inevitable feelings of sadness and isolation.
One need not be a full-time home caregiver. Insights shared in a support group environment are useful, as well, to family members whose loved one resides in a long-term care facility. All group members are expected to be respectful of the information shared in each session and to observe confidentiality concerning other caregivers and their families. Due to the fact that this caregiver support group necessarily provides support for caregivers only, it is not suitable for those diagnosed individuals being cared for, but rather can accommodate only those primarily responsible for care, and/or family members of the diagnosed individual, It is the hope of the sponsors and facilitator that, once the caregiver group is firmly established, a simultaneous but separate activity/socialization group may be developed for loved ones in the early stages of their disease.
The Caregiver Support Group is co-sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association and Prowers Medical Center. For more information, potential group members and other interested persons may call Ann Carter, Alzheimer’s, Association Regional Director, at 719-544-5720, or Lillian Norman at 336-4079.
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