Last Updated: March 13, 2019
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can present many challenges and take a significant toll on a caregiver’s health. Fortunately, emotional support groups can provide the assistance and reassurance you need to manage stress and take time for your own much-needed care.
Learn more about five emotional support groups that Alzheimer’s caregivers can use for support.
Caregivers take on tremendous responsibilities that can easily overwhelm them. Ongoing anxiety, guilt and sleeplessness can lead to problems with physical health. You may eventually withdraw from friends and social activities and soon find yourself feeling alone, depressed and exhausted.
The National Alliance for Caregiving indicates that more than 65 million Americans care for a chronically disabled, ill or senior family member or friend. Those caregivers provide an average of 20 hours of care per week, often while still managing a full-time job and caring for their family.
Finding a support group to share stories with, seek advice from and simply have available to listen to you on a regular basis can help lower caregiver stress and alleviate the health risks that caregivers face. Plus, support groups have information on community resources for adult day care services, Alzheimer’s education and other programs that can ease some of the workload.
Here is a list of five emotional support groups that give assistance and comfort to Alzheimer’s caregivers trying to balance their many responsibilities:
Through its local support groups, the Alzheimer’s Association offers a place to exchange information, talk through challenges and learn about resources in your community. Enter your zip code or search by state to find an Alzheimer’s Association support group near you.
Available through the U.S. Administration on Aging, the Eldercare Locator connects caregivers with local community resources, support groups and other services, such as counseling and training, to assist those who care for senior loved ones.
The FCA sponsors an unmoderated Caregiver Online Group where caregivers, families and partners can safely discuss their challenges, concerns and rewards of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
A closed group, meaning only members have access, Memory People supports people interested in information about Alzheimer’s. The group’s goal is to provide comfort and a means for sharing experiences. Sign up on Facebook for access to posts or to post your own questions or comments as a caregiver.
Family members caring for a veteran can call the VA Caregiver Support Line if they need someone to talk to or information about local support services for caregivers of veterans. The VA also facilitates Caregiver Connections, an online forum for connecting with other caregivers and sharing stories.
Taking time to talk to someone about the ups and downs of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is important to stay happy and healthy as a caregiver.
Some other ways that you can improve your health include:
Remember that staying healthy not only benefits you as an Alzheimer’s caregiver but your loved one too.
What has your Alzheimer’s caregiver experience been like? What other caregiver support groups do you belong to? We’d like to hear from you in the comments below.