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.
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.
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.
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.