Benefits of Dementia Support Groups

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If you have been diagnosed with early onset dementia or are in the early stages of the disease, coping with everyday life can seem impossible. That is why more and more health professionals are advocating and advising patients to become involved in support groups in order to increase quality of life for dementia sufferers and caregivers. The benefits of dementia support groups for those suffering and those caring are immeasurable, but the most important are discussed below.

Getting an Education

One of the first things that most people seek when diagnosed with diseases that affect their life is to seek out information and to learn about the disease. Unfortunately, health professionals such as doctors, clinics or hospitals do not always completely provide an educative process on such diseases, relying more on general pamphlets and brochures than giving a full understanding of what is to come. This is one area where dementia support groups can offer complete answers to all questions regarding dementia, not only from health professionals but also from patients and caregivers, regarding questions about everyday life. Learning to cope with such a disease can be challenging and these coping mechanisms need to be tailored to your specific situation, yet parallels can often be drawn with other families going through the same issues.

dementia support groups

Eliminate the Isolation

One of the hardest parts of dealing with a new illness is the isolation felt and experienced by those diagnosed. Oftentimes patients of dementia feel isolated from their family and friends and have a hard time coping with the new issues of the disease in those surroundings. By attending support groups in your area, people dealing with the same isolation issues provide an outlet for discussing such issues and being around others with the disease eliminates the feeling of isolation.

Learn to Cope

Educating yourself about the disease is a smart way to help you cope with the different aspects of the disease, yet it is not the only way to cope. Simply being able to talk through your personal issues with the disease often helps release stress and personal anxiety regarding the changes in your life. Talking with friends and family unfortunately does not always provide the same stress relief, as their understanding levels will be different than in a peer support group. Discussing every day issues with those going through the same problems will provide different viewpoints on how to deal with different situations in different ways. Being able to share your problems with people that can truly understand your situation provides a better outlet for stress relief. Letting off steam and receiving encouragement can often be all that is needed to help you cope with the disease.

Developing a Network

Understanding and coping with the disease also requires new support networks that can help in difficult situations or at different times with your disease. Leaning on friends and family is a natural way to start developing a network of helpers yet for those without extensive friends and family the need to develop support networks can extend to support groups. A support group network of friends can also take the pressure off friends and family and provide extra support in time of need. Reaching out to those in the community, which understand your situation and can lend a helping hand if necessary, provides a safety net that many with dementia and Alzheimer’s require.

The benefits of dementia support groups have been clearly identified to increase the quality of life for those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s especially in the early and mid stages of the disease. Find a group near you whether you are patient or caregiver to help increase your knowledge, coping mechanisms and support networks.