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Intouch : In Touch Issue 77
14 In touch Winter 2011 www.alzheimers.org.au Carer support groups offer opportunities for carers of people living with dementia to come together to support each other. Each group is led by a professional worker or a trained volunteer. Leaders are not current carers, but have knowledge of dementia and experience in dementia- related services. Carer support groups meet regularly (usually once a month but can be weekly in some instances) for about two hours during the day or evening. Group members come from all walks of life. They are of all ages, cultures, genders and care situations. Some groups are time-limited – they meet for a set number of sessions – while other groups are ongoing. There are different kinds of carer support groups. Some are primarily social, while others offer emotional support or provide information and education. Other groups offer a mixture of these elements. Purpose In support groups, carers share and discuss their experiences, and assist each other, enhancing the wellbeing of the carer and the person with dementia. Each support group provides a confidential and respectful forum for carers to share their stories. Groups also offer practical and emotional assistance, stress relief, a sense of belonging, and opportunities for problem solving, as well as reducing feelings of isolation. To find your nearest carer support group or to obtain support, information, education and counselling, contact AlzNSW through the National Dementia Helpline. T: 1800 100 500 Carer feedback quotes courtesy of Quality Support Group Research Project Phase II (Brown, 2007). Carer support groups Support groups for carers of people with dementia are throughout NSW, but what do they do? (It helps) that others are in the same situation, and the ability to share and help each other, and also to be able to laugh at some aspects of the situation. The group gave me an insight into how to preserve relationships and understand what was happening. (The group has given me) experience in coping personally and coping with each stage of dementia, emotional support, and total honesty from others in the group at each stage (of) crisis. 253 the number of carer support groups registered with AlzNSW 41% are in metropolitan areas 59% are in regional areas 50% of carer support groups are dementia specific 50% are open but include dementia carers RESOURCES
In Touch Issue 76
In Touch Issue 78