773 E. Haverford Road • Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Benefits of Support Groups

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7 Benefits of Joining an Alzheimer's or Dementia Caregiver Support Group

Your life as a caregiver is important, too! Unfortunately, in the daily routine of their highly challenging roles, at-home caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia often lose sight of that fundamental fact.

Caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s can be a lonely, isolating responsibility. At times, it can also be physically and emotionally draining. That’s why leading authorities on Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia such as the Alzheimer’s Association® advise that caregivers should take advantage of all the help and assistance they can find.

More specifically, Alzheimer’s care specialists emphasize the importance of self-care and support groups for caregivers as a way of lightening their burden, maintaining their own health and sharing their problems while gathering ideas on finding a better balance between their caregiving role and other essential aspects of their lives – such as family, work and personal time.

This is extremely important, they say, for both busy caregivers and their dependent loved ones living with Alzheimer’s.

Steve Carney, Wellness Coordinator/Administrator at Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr located in Bryn Mawr, PA, says, “It has been well documented that caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be an exhausting labor of love – one that can take a serious toll on the caregiver’s health. Sometimes, it can even seem overwhelming and result in dangerous caregiver burnout that can lead to depression and serious physical conditions such as hypertension and heart disease.

“The good news is that the use of support groups and various self-care measures can provide the relief and reassurance you need to cope with the daily stresses of caregiving and make your life more manageable. In fact, research studies have consistently demonstrated that support is essential to the health and well-being of long-term caregivers.”

7 Valuable Benefits of Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Groups

According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, support groups enable caregivers to share their feelings and find emotional support as well as exchange information and educate themselves about Alzheimer's disease. Support group members bring new ideas to the table, learn about local association resources, share new ways of coping, boost each other's energy and help build confidence in caregiving.

Various articles such as “Benefits of Joining an Alzheimer’s Support Group” and “Why You Should Join a Caregiver Support Group” highlight the key advantages of Alzheimer’s support groups for at-home caregivers.

These benefits include:

  1. Social interaction and avoiding isolation – Support groups can act as a positive outlet by providing caregivers with regular time each week for social interaction outside of the home. Knowing that you are not alone can be of great comfort. It can be helpful just talking with other people who are in the same situation.
  2. A judgement free zone – Support groups provide a safe place where any negative emotions about caregiving can be expressed and validated (such as anger, frustration, and grief) which can help participants feel that they are not alone.
  3. Learning new caring and coping techniques – Caregivers can gather new ideas on how others deal with everyday challenges of caring for a loved during each of the stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Education and useful advice – Many groups offer an educational component with expert advice on caregiving topics.
  5. Some beneficial time away – Support groups help caregivers maintain balance by doing something for themselves instead of always caring for their loved one.
  6. Regaining a sense of self-worth and value – Caregivers are given the opportunity to help others who are new to caregiving by offering tips on what has and hasn’t worked well for them. Caregivers often derive personal satisfaction by helping others while helping themselves.
  7. Finding new friends – Support groups can be an excellent place for building friendships with those who are experiencing similar experiences in their life. Caregivers attending support groups often form new bonds and discover a sense of community.

Caregiver support groups provide a valuable resource to those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s, and they exist in communities all across America. Here at Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr, we host monthly support group meetings that we cordially invite you to attend. Please call Sharon Major at 484.380.5404 for dates, times and additional information. We hope to see you.

We also invite you to read our timely articles on current caregiver and memory loss topics posted on our website.

We Would Love to Hear from You!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we would love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section.

Engaging Days. Meaningful Moments

Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment. Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level of independence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comfort of home. Our memory care community touches hearts and changes lives.

Helping Families Be “Family” Again

Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family.

If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock.

If and when the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again.

For more information, please call Sharon at 484.380.5400 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.