Finding Community: Dementia Support Groups for CaregiversPosted By HarborChase on February 1, 2023
Caregiving is a selfless act. It takes patience, strength, compassion, education, and much more. Because of this, many family caregivers struggle to find time to take care of themselves and their personal needs, which can lead to feelings of stress, burnout, and guilt.
Caring for a person living with dementia can feel like an even more isolating experience. While family and friends may understand the nuances of aging, they might not be educated on the impacts of dementia, leading caregivers to feel like they have little to no support in their role.
In these situations, dementia support groups can provide a safe place for emotional support, as well as create a network to share information and personal experiences with others who are experiencing a similar journey to your own.
At HarborChase Senior Living, our memory care communities strive to make a difference in the lives of residents and their family members by providing excellent care, compassionate support, and resources to educate caregivers and families. Below, we highlight the benefits of finding community with dementia support groups.
Learn You Are Not Alone
Caregiving is deeply personal, and it can be challenging to express the feelings, difficulties, and pitfalls to those outside the caregiving circle. For instance, your friends and family might be empathetic and supportive towards the challenges you face while caring for your loved one. Still, they might have a hard time fully understanding what you’re going through.
When you join a dementia support group, you not only become a member of a community, but you have the opportunity to network your feelings with a group of individuals who understand your day-to-day struggles. In this community of people going through similar situations, you’ll feel comfortable communicating your feelings, frustrations, and even accomplishments.
Support groups are also a safe space where you can vent negative feelings to people who won’t judge but rather relate and help you to understand that you aren’t alone during difficult emotional and mental times.
Discover Coping Techniques
Dementia support groups for caregivers are composed of individuals in various stages of the dementia journey. This is beneficial when sharing tips, strategies, and methods for coping with each step of the dementia timeline. For example, you might pick up helpful strategies for communicating with your loved one more efficiently or learn new ways to improve your caregiving abilities.
This is also a perfect opportunity to find coping techniques for yourself. Whether you discover breathing techniques to help you deal with stress or outside care services to allow you some extra free time, you’ll learn the importance of strategies to prevent burnout and prioritize yourself.
Regain Your Individuality
It can be easy to neglect your own needs and personal schedule as a caregiver. You want to ensure your loved one is receiving the best care possible, and it can be hard to leave for even a moment without fearing that the worst-case scenario might occur.
Joining a dementia support group is a great way to take back your individuality by allowing yourself a much-needed break and focus on yourself. Support groups are also an excellent resource for self-evaluation; you can think about your needs, mental health, plans for the future, and more.
Socialize & Connect with Others
When you spend every day attending to your loved one’s needs, schedule, and health, you likely have little to no time for a social life. It can be challenging to make time with friends and family when your days are spent caring for another person. However, socialization is crucial for good mental health; humans are social creatures by nature, and depriving ourselves of the company of others can lead to various mental health issues.
Support groups are a wonderful social outlet where you can dedicate time each week to connect with others. While you talk about dementia and caregiving, you’ll have the opportunity to make new friends and build your social network.
At HarborChase Senior Living, many of our memory care communities offer monthly dementia support groups, so families and caregivers know they are not alone in this journey. Whether you provide dementia care or just know someone impacted by dementia, it’s important to have support during this chapter of life.
We invite you to visit our website to find a dementia support group at a HarborChase memory care community near you.