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My Mom and I attend a support group once a month at one of the local churches. The faces change, some come and some go. We've had a couple ladies lose their spouses over the past year. Being a part of the group is the best thing that has happened to us. You're able to talk about anything and everything with people who are going through the same trials you are. And they listen. I've found that one of the very worst things about having a loved one with Alzheimer's or another dementia is that very few people outside of a support group setting really want to listen or know what is going on with that part of your life! Most of the friends I've had for years don't want to hear -- they'll ask how my Dad is and that's about it. And I know they don't want to hear (because they change the subject, usually to themselves and what's going on with them!) so I say very little to them. The only other folks who are really interested are my Sunday School class and the online groups I belong to. To anyone out there who doesn't belong to a support group -- find one! Check with your local Alzheimer's office, the phone book, nursing homes, etc. Someone will be able to point you in the right direction!
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I went to one last week at an assisted living facility I am considering taking my mom to. They have it once a month. I went by the senior center and they have one once a month too.
I think I'd like to attend a couple of them a month if I can. I learned a lot from people who are taking care of their spouses or parents.

The local Alzheimer's Assoc. can give you referrals for groups in your area.
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Anonymous - I realize I am reading this almost two years later but I'm curious to know if this is still going on. Sounds a great outline for something I'd love to see where I live. Maybe I'll start it myself.
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I actually helped start one here because there wasnt any! We call it Carteret Care Partners and got a nice grant from the dept of aging to set it up. It's young yet -only 3 months in action but it is great.

We have two seperate programs that we run, one day a month we provide a 'Respite Session' which consists of two hours of activities and speakers and performers and stuff and it is for both the caregiver and the care recipient together, but we actually have found some wonderful volunteers to come in and provide the caregivers a break. the volunteers are there to try to engage the recipients so that we, the caregivers, can get together a little. For the last half hour of that program, the volunteers kick in full time and we go off to a another room for a quick informal support group type meeting where we just check in with eachother, make sure no one is in any kind of crisis, and laugh or cry or bitch or whatever.
Then on an alternate day of the month, we also hold a more formal 2 hour caregivers support group meeting again with volunteers present who take control of any care recipients a caregiver might have to have brought with them.

Other than the support, comraderie and advocacy we offer to local caregivers of all types, we are also trying to focus on community outreach in an effort to raise awareness in the larger community of the difficulties of family caregiving, in the hopes of decreasing the isolation and solitude that is so difficult for us. That is another reason why the volunteers are so important, we choose them carefully to be folks who are in college or some other field and maybe not even aware of the whole caregiving world. Not only do they relieve some of the burden for a few hours a month, they are also being shown first hand what our situation is, they go back out in the world and talk about what they have seen and felt, and things (hopefully0 become less of a private H*ll for us and more of a common community effort.

I strongly support, support groups!
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i need to find a support group,, ,
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I have also been going to the Alz support groups, and found a lot of answers from others that I was able to relate to-as well as the Alz Asociation as well. I highly reccommed participation in these groups.
Best,
Hap
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I'm glad I asked this question. I started going to Alz caregiver support groups in 2005. I called the local Alzheimer's Association and asked for a list of support groups in my area. I have been going ever since. There is one once a month on Monday evenings, and another one which is every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. Support groups have saved my sanity.
It's a place where I can vent, cry, ask questions and be completely accepted. They have helped me through every situation. You see, we are all in the same boat, but we each have a different seat.
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I have not yet gone to one. I have time during the day to do my own thing, and Friday and Saturday nights my husband and I go out, alone or with friends. We never talk about my Mother then. I feel good coming to this site, as it is convenient, just as any venue online is! After only 3 months of in-home caregiving, I am kind of run-down, but I have a generally good perspective, and a great family. I used to go to other support groups while in therapy years ago, and I got tired of the wallowing and whining.
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THis is it for me. That and going out and taking time to go to the gym and keep in touch with friends. I plan to go out with the girls once a month, come hell or high water. They might not have the same types of issues I do but a kind ear and outside perspective often helps.
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I wish i knew of one also, I need to vent so much right now
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