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Caring for someone with memory loss is more than a fulltime job. Anticipating their needs, their mistakes, their actions makes constant vigilance a necessary part of your existence. This is neither good or bad it is just reality. You are continually thinking about the things you need to alter for their safety in the same way that you would prevent a small child from getting into trouble by limiting the possible problem areas and “child proofing your home”. All of this takes exorbitant amounts of energy. Where do you go to recharge? Where do you go for support? Who can you talk to that understands what you are experiencing?
One of the things that support group members often talk about is how most people don’t understand what they are dealing with. Family members see mom or dad functioning fairly well in their presence and may even think you are exaggerating the symptoms and problems. Friends you play cards with or go out with can do the same – or they see the symptoms and cannot deal with the changes and avoid you all together. These are only a few of the reasons why a support group is a good idea.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers support groups to Caregivers all over the country. You can actually search by zip code and find one near to you. It is good to go to a support group with some credibility behind it and the Alzheimer’s Association provides training and resources to facilitators . Use this link http://www.alz.org/apps/findus.asp to find a local group you can connect with.
Here are some benefits of attending a group like this
- You find friends who are experiencing similar problems with their loved ones
- You share what works and what doesn’t and can learn from other people’s struggles
- You gain insight and information that help you to cope with the day-to-day stress of caregiving.
- You no longer feel alone
Having support will help you get through the days that are long and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not the only one dealing with the problems you face daily is like a light at the end of a long tunnel. Find a support group. Find Support. You are not alone… you are one of many. In a supportive community you will find hope.
“We have all known the long loneliness
and we have learned that the only solution is love
and that love comes with community.”
― Dorothy Day