Choosing the right Alzheimer's caregiver support group can prove difficult, especially if you find many options in your area. Among the things you might want to consider are the distance of the meetings from your home or place of business as well as the structure or format of the meetings. You may also find recommendations and reviews helpful when you are trying to choose well. Additionally, visiting the support group to sit in on a meeting may prove beneficial.
One thing to consider when trying to choose the best Alzheimer's caregiver support group is how you will feel as part of the group. You will likely prefer a group in which you will feel comfortable sharing without being judged for your feelings and actions. Likewise, you may have preferences when it comes to the atmosphere of the group — some are very formal while others are more casual. To determine whether a support group will fit your preferences, you could ask its leader for the opportunity to sit in on a meeting. If this is allowed, you can get a feel for your comfort level before you make a choice.
You will likely want to consider the distance you will have to travel as well. With all of the stresses of acting as a caregiver, in addition to the fatigue you probably feel on a frequent basis, traveling long distances to an Alzheimer's caregiver support group might not be desirable. As such, you might feel most comfortable choosing a meeting that is located close to your home or your job. This way, traveling to the meeting won't add to your stresses, and problems such as poor weather and traffic won't stop you from getting the support you need.
When you are choosing an Alzheimer's caregiver support group, you can also consider the recommendations of other caregivers. For example, if you have a friend or family member who is also a caregiver, he may point you in the direction of a good support group. Even if you do not personally know any other caregivers, however, you can still get information and support group recommendations. Your doctor or a mental health professional may be able to offer a recommendation. Additionally, you can search for recommendations and reviews online.
The structure or format of a support group meeting may also influence your selection. For example, you might prefer a group that focuses on specific topics each week and does not spend much time on socializing. On the other hand, if you are hoping to release tension and perhaps make friends, you may want a support group that allows time for socializing during or after meetings.