You may feel you need the support that comes from sharing thoughts and feelings with others. Some days you may need a "sympathetic ear," someone who will listen and not judge. Other days you may need a safe place to "vent." Friends and family can help, or you may find it useful to talk to others who have lived with or worked with caregivers.
A support group can give you a place to talk with other caregivers who understand the disease and know just what you are going through.
It gives you an opportunity to share your own experiences, get practical suggestions that can help you in your daily caregiving while letting you help others. A support group can also help you manage stress and feel less isolated.
Some groups are targeted to spouses or adult children. Contact your local Alzheimer Society for a list of support groups in your area.
Not everyone is comfortable participating in a group. Sometimes, talking one-on-one to someone who has gone through the experience of caring for a person with dementia (peer support) can be very helpful.
It can also be helpful to talk with a trained professional or counsellor. You may find counsellors or peer support through your local Alzheimer Society or look for a social worker through your public health department, health centre or family service agency. Your family doctor may also know of counselling resources in your community.
Another way to look after your emotional needs is with humour. Humour can work wonders by helping you cope with caregiving demands. Some days it will be possible to laugh, others it may not be. Look for the humour in day-to-day situations. See a funny movie. Laugh with friends.
The Forums on this site are another place to share ideas and support with other caregivers. You might find this online discussion forum helpful.
Last Updated: 12/16/11