Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Online Dementia Caregiver Support Groups

Support groups are often recommended for people who share a common problem. Talking with others who "understand" what you are going through can help end isolation. It can make you feel better just knowing you are not alone. Sharing with people who have similar feelings and frustrations is a great way to help alleviate some of your own fears and doubts. You can learn a lot from those who have been there. Being part of a group offers you an opportunity to provide support and helpful advice to others. Social connection is an important part of maintaining good mental health. It can help alleviate stress.

     If you are a struggling caregiver to someone with dementia, or you want to connect with others, you may find it difficult to get out to a support group offered by your local Alzheimer's association or other agency or program. It may be hard just to leave the house for an hour or two because your loved one is unsafe. You may have trouble finding someone to provide respite while you go out.

     An alternative is to join an online group through websites such as Facebook. I have found a few groups that you may want to check out to see if they suit your needs or not. Most of these groups are "Closed" and you must be approved by an administrator to join. You can be a part of the group and decide if it meets your needs or not. If it's not for you, it is easy to leave the group and move on to something else.

Facebook Groups (you need a Facebook account) for caregivers of people with dementia:
This listing is not exhaustive, and the availability of groups can change at any time. Please do your own search to see if there are any new groups for you to check out.

Please comment below if you have any other groups or information to share.

- Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW
Specialist in Aging