Although most caregivers will say there are many benefits of caring for a close friend or family member with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), they may also mention the many trials involved during the various stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Most Alzheimer’s caregivers have experienced these challenges first-hand. Coping with caregiving commonly engenders feelings of isolation, burnout, emotional and physical exhaustion.
Research on Alzheimer’s Caregiver’s Support Groups
Why is it important to participate in a caregiver’s support group? Research has shown time and time again that support is vital to the health and well-being of long-term caregivers. There are many different types of support groups available including counseling groups, professional facilitators, peer support groups, lecture and educational support groups (featuring expert speakers) and more.
According to The American Journal of Psychiatry, one clinical research study indicated that study participants who accessed regular supportive group counseling were able to perform caregiving in the home for up to 18 months longer than those in the study group who received no support.
Advantages of Joining a Caregiver’s Support Group
- The group can act as a positive outlet providing caregivers a regular time slot each week for social interaction outside of the home.
- A support group offers a safe place where any negative emotions about caregiving can be expressed and validated (like anger, frustration, and grief), helping participants feel they are NOT alone.
- Caregivers can gather ideas on how others deal with common challenges of caring for a loved during each of the stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
- 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.
- Many groups offer an educational component with expert advice on caregiving topics.
- Support groups help caregivers maintain balance by doing something for themselves instead of always caring for their loved one.
If you are searching for a local AD support group, CLICK HERE to access The
Alzheimer’s Association’s Caregiver’s Community Support Group Guide. You can enter your zip code and get referrals for support group meetings and other local community services in your area for families of those with AD.
CLICK HERE to learn more about AD, check out our free courses on AD caregiving and AD prevention & treatment.