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Have any of you found anything in the community that meets your needs? This forum is my lifeline, but sometimes I wish I could meet over coffee with real live people to air concerns and share experiences. I tried the Alzheimer's society, but it was primarily spouses focused on learning to live with Alz.
A friend has suggested a palliative focus, but although mom has been dying for years I can't see where I would fit there. Besides, there is no support group like that available here.
I know there are old people dying in the community outside the nursing home, I read it in the obits every week. I can't be the only one doing this, can I?

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I tried going to an Alz/dementia caregiver support group but did not feel like my problems were understood. One of the most vocal in the group was a woman that only saw her Dad once a month and had all kinds of family support. When i tried to talk about being alll alone caregiving for my parents..they looked at me like I was a martian..and just awww thats too bad....next....

The people who attended the most and talked the most were the ones whose lives were not being actually taken over by caregiving for a person with dementia. I assume the people that most needed support were not there..because they have no help to allow them to get away for a few minutes.

I was very disappointed as i had high hopes of at least feeling understood and supported for a few minutes anyway.
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Perhaps you could put an ad online or in a local paper. When I was newly divorced, I found a single moms' group that someone had started listed in the paper. Just getting together for coffee with a few people once or twice a month could be a life saver.
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Becca, I'm in small town Ontario Canada, I'm starting to think the only support I will find here is paying a counsellor to listen to my rants. There are groups that sound promising within commuting distance, but when you are a 24/7 caregiver they may as well be on the moon.
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What state are you in? I'm new here, but I've been looking around for support here in NJ, and found a website that lists all support groups for everything imaginable for every county. Perhaps there's such a thing in your state?
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On days like today I think I need something structured more along the lines of AA, lots of meetings and a sponsor I can call when I'm about to go off the deep end.
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I saw a notice on a bulletin board at the grocery from our local ‘Senior Information & Assistance Office” for a caregivers’ support group, with weekly meetings. I’ve gone twice; they have a rule about no repeating anything you hear in the group, so it does feel safe to vent and discuss problems. At some point, I hope to exchange phone numbers when I am more comfortable there, and eventually build some real face-to-face friendships. (Most of my previous friends don’t understand my disappearance into the caregiver role.) Already they have helped me set some goals. Short term, to get my husband used to ‘helpers’ in the house, with some tips on how to get this started.

My husband and I have been attending a monthly parkinsons support group meeting, and have been befriended by a couple with social obstacles similar to ours, going to lunch together, which I look forward to each month. I also crave the support of fellow caregivers, separate from my dh, especially the meeting over coffee. Making that happen means carving the time from something else, and I am struggling with this now.

This forum is indeed a lifeline, and I read posts every day and learn. In addition, I hope you can find groups in your community and give it a try. I’d love to hear how that goes for you.
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Jeanne, I hadn't even thought of university sponsored groups. There are 2 teaching hospital systems in our area, one of which is very highly acclaimed, close to the VA hospital where we go, and in a beautiful area. I'm going to check it out.

I hadn't even thought of university supported groups.
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The local support group I joined was a life-saver. It was for caregivers of loved ones with my husband's disease.

I've seen notices for support groups for caregivers of persons with memory issues at my mother's NH, two different rehab buildings I've been in, and an adult day health program building.

I know that our University sponsors a couple of caregiver support groups, as do several hospitals.

I hope you locate something suitable for you. It really can make a difference!
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The only time I found anything close to a support group was when I took the Alzheimer's/AAA class on Creating Confident Caregivers. I did raise the issue of our small group continuing on as a support group but no one seemed interested.

I had the impression they were all overwhelmed with what they were doing and thinking of committing any time to anything but those basics wasn't within their scope of thought at that time. I also felt somewhat the same way but hoped we could build on the friendships established during the course.

It's occurred to me to try to start something like a support group through one of the area hospitals. I did try something like that years ago when I wanted to start a quilting therapy group for those affected by cancer. One of the local hospitals, a massive place more like a small city (but not in Ann Arbor - that's a whole different ball game and level of sophistication), was one of the hospitals I contacted.

After winding my way through various offices and finally reaching someone who could facilitate starting a support group, I was shocked when told that there wasn't enough parking space to add another support group. Huh??? That's a criteria?

I've since realized that place is a hospital with such "unique" practices that other hospitals in the area have declined being its suitor in its attempts to merge. No wonder if a potential community outreach program is dependent on parking spaces.

I've still considered trying other hospitals to get a support group together but honestly just don't have the mental energy at this time.
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