When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it is the beginning of a difficult journey for the individual and their loved ones. Family members and caregivers want to provide their loved ones with the support they need but are generally taking on these roles without prior training or experience. On top of that, caring for a friend or family member with Alzheimer’s brings an emotional weight that can leave providers feeling cut off from the outside world. With all of this in mind, Nazareth Home established an Alzheimer’s support group for caregivers.
The Nazareth Caregiver Support Group meets virtually on the third Monday of each month. It is an opportunity for those dealing with the stress, isolation, and uncertainty of caregiving to discuss their experience in a safe environment.
The truth is, family caregivers are at high risk for depression. According to the Family Care Giver Alliance, 40-70 percent of caregivers struggle with depression- a number that researchers say increases when an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient is involved.
Caregivers often put so much of their energy into their loved ones that they don’t take the time they need for themselves. While being devoted to someone else, caregivers often become isolated, overwhelmed and don’t know where to find valuable resources or support.
Alzheimer’s support groups are an excellent way for caregivers to share their fears and anxieties without judgment. These support groups allow people to learn from the experiences of others while finding validation and a sense of community. Although each family and patient are different, Nazareth believes that no one should feel alone in their caregiving journey.
“Add the Alzheimer’s Support Group to the long list of things Nazareth Home does well. For any family member encountering Alzheimer’s for the first time, this support group is a must,” said support group attendee Rick Segeleon. “You can tell someone about this disease and what to expect, but when it is your loved one, for the first time, it is very difficult to reconcile rational thought with your emotions. It has taken me years to finally feel comfortable saying (and doing) the things that are best for my mother. God bless her and the Nazareth Home staff that support her.”
Nazareth Home Alzheimer’s Support Group is hosted by Gretchen Houchin and Dr. Stephen Bliss. Anyone interested in attending can RSVP to Gretchen at 502-473-2396 or firstname.lastname@example.org to receive their Zoom link for the event.