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Starting a local support group for spouses of Alzheimer's patients
Internal Administrator
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:19 PM
Joined: 1/14/2015
Posts: 40463


Originally posted by: Ambey

Anyone out there have experience in formulating a local support group for Spouses only?

Any suggestions, ideas, appreciated....most challenging at this point is "how/where to identify a qualified individual to facilitate the meetings?
Local Alzheimer's office provides 2 separate support groups; one for early diag., plus second group for anyone in general needing support......
Thanks ahead of time....
Ambey.....
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:19 PM
Originally posted by: JAB

There have been a couple of threads about starting support groups -- not specific for spouses, but it should be the same thing. I've found one of them:
http://alzheimers.infopop.cc/e...581076902#5581076902

It's not the one I was thinking of ... I'll try to find the other. It was more recent than this...

Haha! Here it is:
http://alzheimers.infopop.cc/e...601012503#1601012503
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:19 PM
Originally posted by: Ambey

Thank you Jab.....
Read through those past threads....lots of great info...!
Ambey...
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:19 PM
Originally posted by: Starling

Why do you want an in-person support group just for spouses? I'm asking for a couple of reasons.

I've got no experience with in-person support groups except for a single meeting at one where it started out spouses only for MS only and then started accepting other diseases and other caregivers who needed to talk. I learned that there was a lot that MS caregivers and dementia caregivers had in common, and that it didn't matter if there were daughters in the mix. Or mothers for that matter. It turned out that in two cases of dementia caregiving both the mother and the daughter came together.

I only went to the one meeting because I had begun to deal with grief issues, the group met at night and I don't drive at night, and I was too tired once I came home (I'm old). But if I had known about the meeting earlier in my husband's journey I'd have tried to find a way to get there somehow.

There are spouse only issues like finances and sex, but mostly you aren't going to talk about those in a face to face group anyway. The other issues belong to all caregivers.

Try going to the group for everyone in your area and see how that goes. The person to talk to about a spouse only group is the person who is running the everyone group.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:19 PM
Originally posted by: teacher's pet

I heard that Active Day of Florence, SC is starting a support group. I'm not sure if it is for "spouses only" but you could probably call the center director and she could give you advice on how to start one. Here is the link to the news story http://www2.scnow.com/lifestyl...eimers-su-ar-894909/
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:19 PM
Originally posted by: Rkg

Let us know how it goes Ambey. I do understand what JAB is saying about a facilitator keeping things on track, but if you format your meetings you can keep control and always be aware of others feelings and needs.

I just started going to a caregiver group and frankly the facilitator is worthless as far as giving "everyone" a chance to speak. She has let this one women dominate the two meetings I have been to. I am actually the one who ask others questions to get them to open up. I direct my questions to them rather than open it up to the group because this one lady will take over if you don't. And this facilitator is a supposed professional. It makes me laugh cause she (the professional has Thanked me for getting others involved!) Because she can't seem to control this lady.

So as I said, always be aware of others feelings and needs and you should be ok.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:19 PM
Originally posted by: jfkoc

I do not see the need for a facilator either. Went to Alanon for 10+ years...no facilatator.

The two groups I went to had facilitators but I truly did not think they knew 1/10 the info that is discussed here and one of them has written a book!
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:19 PM
Originally posted by: Ambey

Just wanted to thank the folks that posted the last 3 entries.....great thoughts re "facilitator".....actually never thought of going ahead with out a pro there.....Rkg, I agree re the abundance of knowledge caregiver's acquire....I have run into the same situation ....with so called medical staff, where my hubby lives.....you can't beat experience!!!thanks again
Ambey
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:19 PM
Originally posted by: JAB

A facilitator is often more for keeping the group on track, making sure everyone has a chance to speak, heading off arguments, etc ... s/he runs the meeting, rather than "teaching" or being more knowledgeable about the subject matter.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:19 PM
Originally posted by: Rkg

Ambey, In my opinon if you start it, they will come.

Kinda of like the movie line, If you build it, they will come.



As for "only spouses" that is fine if you have enough caregiveing spouse who want to join. As far as a facilitator, that is not necessarily a need. Believe me, if there is enough of you a facilitator can't hold a candle to your experiences. The group would be more about sharing your experiences. Your group would be just fine with you all sharing. Facilitators don't have all the answers. And I have found that even the director of the AD Association in my area, know's less than I do Frowner pretty sad!

So give it a whirl. I think you will find that just the sharing and support of each member will be all you need. Best of Luck! If and when you want/need a professional opinion than seek out someone who would be willing to speak to your group, Example, Elder Law Lawyer, hospice rep, etc etc etc

But I certainly wouldn't have every meeting busy with professionals.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:19 PM
Originally posted by: lurk

Rkg, it's because of all of your experience here that you are so aware and able. I'm giving you a general thanks for helping make your group more worthwhile for everyone.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:19 PM
Originally posted by: Ambey

Hi RKG,
In my 12 years on the "alzheimer's journey" with my hubby, I have made 2 attempts at attending a general support group......and both times I stopped for the reasons you described in your last post. There are always folks that need/want to monopolize the time.....and there are many reasons for that.....I actually think it is one of the main challenges in most support groups....the flip side of the issue is "everyone has a right to be heard"....and so the balancing act begins.....Heard a great statement last evening on L. King show: "I never learned anything when I was talking" definitely food for thought......?

We are slowly moving ahead with ideas....looking certain that we have located a place to have the meetings (no charge) so that is a beginning.....

I as well know (from work experience) pre planning is totally important, rather than simply jumping in ....! so that is where we are....
Thanks again for any comments or observations....
Ambey....(Canada)