Advice by Alicia: Why Caregivers Should Join a Support Group

Q: I’ve been hearing a lot about memory care support groups since my loved one was diagnosed with dementia. I’m serving as my mom’s primary caregiver and trying to provide as much home care as I can, but I’m finding this transition difficult. Is a support group something I should consider?

A: The short answer to your question is yes, a support group would be great for you – especially if you’re in the beginning stages of caring for your loved one and trying to gain as much guidance and information as you can. However, no matter where you are in your journey of caring for aging parents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, these groups can be beneficial.

One of the main reasons I recommend finding support is that caregiving can take a toll – physically, mentally, and emotionally – which can lead to caregiver burnout. The good news is that many community organizations, such as Bridges® by EPOCH, offer support groups to help guide you on your journey.

Dementia Caregiver Support Groups

When it comes to support, what works for one caregiver may not work for all. Some may like to get out of the house to attend an in-person support group meeting; however, for others, that won’t work due to schedule conflicts or the inability to find someone to care for their loved one while they are away.

Bridges® by EPOCH is happy to provide monthly online caregiver support groups – enabling caregivers to join from the comfort of home. Caregivers can also find support online in chat rooms, Facebook groups and other virtual caregiving events.

No matter the type of support group, they provide many benefits and resources for caregivers. We’ll share some of the top advantages of joining a support group – along with some summarized tips from Dr. Barry J. Jacobs in an article by DailyCaring.

Why Family Caregivers Should Join a Support Group

You’ll enjoy a sense of understanding.

Other caregivers in attendance will understand your challenges and what you’re going through, as they are facing similar situations.

It’s a judgment-free zone.

Since others know what you are dealing with, and are often facing the same emotions you are, it may be easier to share your true experiences and feelings without fear of judgment or guilt.

New solutions and techniques may be learned.

Other caregivers within the support group, as well as dementia care professionals, can provide advice and offer tips to give you a better understanding of your particular situation and ways to manage the challenges you may face.

You’ll get a chance to socialize.

Attendees of caregiver support groups often become friends, developing closer connections and deeper relationships as a result of shared journeys. This also gives caregivers the opportunity to focus on their own well-being, as opposed to only their loved one’s needs. Being the best caregiver requires you to be at your best, too.

It can lighten the emotional load.

Caregiver support groups can help to prevent caregiver burnout, enhance coping skills, reduce stress levels, and help you feel less alone in your caregiving journey.

Finding a Caregiver Support Group

At our Bridges® by EPOCH communities, we host monthly virtual support groups for family caregivers. With one held in the morning and one in the evening, family members can choose the time that suits them while receiving support from the comfort of their home.

Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of a caregiver support group? Join us for one of our upcoming sessions by registering online today.

Alicia Seaver is Vice President of Memory Care Operations for EPOCH Senior Living and a Certified Memory Impairment Specialist. Every month, she addresses a specific issue related to memory and memory care. If you’re interested in hearing about a particular topic, please send a note to aseaver@epochsl.com.

Enhancing Quality of Life

Bridges® by EPOCH memory care communities have been developed from the ground up to anticipate, meet and exceed the needs of our residents and their families. Our team of remarkable people, the exceptional care and services we offer, and the purposeful design of our buildings all combine to create the most rewarding, secure and nurturing lifestyle possible for our residents.

Bridges® communities are located in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, in the following towns: Norwalk, CT; Stamford, CT; Trumbull, CT; Andover, MA; Hingham, MA; Lexington, MA; Mashpee, MA; Pembroke, MA; Sudbury, MA; Westford, MA; Westwood, MA; and Nashua, NH.

Bridges® by EPOCH is New England’s largest stand-alone memory care assisted living provider.