Support Groups for Caring for Loved Ones with Dementia
By Lisa Wells, Dementia Care Specialist, Aging & Disability Resource Center of Eau Claire County
Have you ever wanted to attend a support group but felt you didn’t want to sit and listen to other people’s problems, were too embarrassed to talk about your own, or felt it was just too hard? Or maybe it is too difficult to leave your loved one alone at home or you feel you just don’t have the time. Actually, support groups can be very beneficial to you, the caregiver, as well as the person for whom you are providing care.
One of the many benefits of attending a group is members validate each other’s experiences. Whether your feelings are negative or positive, just knowing that what you are going through is normal and you’re not the only one…can be a relief! In addition, support groups are a great place to ask for advice, vent frustrations, and find out about valuable resources in the community…like the Aging & Disability Resource Center!
Check out what others have said about attending a support group…
• It was the only place I could say how I felt and people would understand.
• I could be angry about how I felt I was dealt a low blow by fate and the others would not say I should not feel like that.
• I could find help on how to handle difficult problems form others who had dealt with the same situation.
• I learned that I could not and should not be the only one responsible for caring for my family member.
• I learned where to go for help.
• I realized it was possible to laugh at some of the impossible, crazy things that happened during the day.
• I learned to stop trying to teach or reason with my family member and instead learned to accept that the way she saw things was very real for her.
• I discovered that it was important to have some time for myself to do things I wanted to do and not feel guilty about it.
• I became aware of how much it helped to know I was not the only one in the world going through this experience.
There are many support groups in Eau Claire County; however, due to the pandemic, support groups are not in person at this time, but have gone virtual! The Aging & Disability Resource Center offers support groups for people living with dementia as well as family members caring for loved ones with dementia.
The virtual platforms that are used include Webex and Zoom. Both platforms are similar and easy to use and navigate. Individuals can join with their desktop, tablet, or smartphone as well as the telephone.
For more information on virtual support, contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center of
Eau Claire County at
715-839-4735 or visit online at www.eauclaireadrc.org.