How Do I Choose the Best Dementia Support Group?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Support groups may be very helpful for someone who suffers from dementia.
Support groups may be very helpful for someone who suffers from dementia.

Supports groups can prove to be valuable resources for people struggling with dementia and their loved ones. To choose the best dementia support group, you may consider such issues as location, possibly selecting an online group if you cannot find one nearby. You can also consider your comfort level with the groups you consider and their structures. Recommendations could help your decision-making process as well. If you are unable to find a group you like, however, you can consider starting one of your own.

Doctors may be able to recommend the best dementia support groups for patients.
Doctors may be able to recommend the best dementia support groups for patients.

One way to choose the best dementia support group is to consider location. In the course of a busy life and because of numerous commitments, you may find making time to participate in a support group difficult. As such, making attendance as convenient as possible may mean you make it to more of the meetings. Meetings that are located close to your home or place of business will likely prove most convenient, as you can get there easily and you won't have to waste valuable time on a long commute.

A dementia patient's family can serve as an excellent support system.
A dementia patient's family can serve as an excellent support system.

Online dementia support groups may also prove a good option if traveling to meet with a group is truly out of the question. You might prefer this option if there are no support groups near you or if you cannot travel the distance to the nearest meeting because of a lack of transportation or other commitments. In such a case, the best online dementia support group may be one that has well-structured leadership and meetings. A solid meeting attendance record and a regular meeting schedule may help you to feel more supported as well.

Elderly people with dementia who are isolated may benefit greatly from regular visits by a geriatric aide.
Elderly people with dementia who are isolated may benefit greatly from regular visits by a geriatric aide.

It can be difficult to determine whether a dementia support group is right for you just by reading its description. Instead, you may do well to speak with its leader or organizer and attend a meeting or two before committing to the group. This way, you can determine whether you are reasonably comfortable with the meeting style and other participants. You may for example, prefer a meeting with more structure and planned topics rather than more casual sharing sessions, or vice versa.

Recommendations may also help you choose the best dementia support group. You can ask your family doctor or a mental health expert you trust for a recommendation, for instance. You could also seek referrals from associations intended to provide resources for families dealing with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, if you know individuals who have family members with this condition, they might be able to provide information about support groups.

Sometimes the best dementia support group is not one you attend but one you start. If there are no support groups nearby or none of the available groups suit your needs, you can start one of your own. This means finding a suitable location for the meetings, deciding how you want to structure the meetings, and advertising for participants.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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    • Support groups may be very helpful for someone who suffers from dementia.
      By: Nikki Zalewski
      Support groups may be very helpful for someone who suffers from dementia.
    • Doctors may be able to recommend the best dementia support groups for patients.
      By: Igor Mojzes
      Doctors may be able to recommend the best dementia support groups for patients.
    • A dementia patient's family can serve as an excellent support system.
      By: rainbow33
      A dementia patient's family can serve as an excellent support system.
    • Elderly people with dementia who are isolated may benefit greatly from regular visits by a geriatric aide.
      By: Grafvision
      Elderly people with dementia who are isolated may benefit greatly from regular visits by a geriatric aide.