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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Title Dementia Caregivers Support Group to meet in Jackson

A new support group for caregivers of those suffering with dementia will begin meeting in Jackson on the first Wednesday of each month. The support group is sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association and will be facilitated by Norm Meyer, Alzheimer's Association Volunteer. Meetings will take place at the Whistle Stop Depot at the Iron Mountain Railway from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. beginning June 6. (The July meeting will be on Tuesday, July 3.)

Caregivers will have the opportunity to meet with others for support, education and helpful information. Meyer, who traveled a six-year dementia caregiver journey with his wife who passed away from dementia in 2017, shared that he and his wife both benefited significantly from the innumerable caregiver support groups he was able to work with during this journey. He noted there are many reasons to join a caregivers support group: to better understand Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, to learn, gain support, encouragement and understanding from those who are going through similar situations and, to share experiences and release emotions in a confidential, positive setting. Frequently overlooked planning nuances are discussed. Also, to learn how to take care of yourself and feel more in control of your life is a huge deal.

Dementia support groups strive to share their energy through intentional conversation about how they are challenged with caring for loved ones, the frustrations they frequently wrestle with, and to learn from each other. Also, that despite the trials, there are still many opportunities for humor, happiness and laughter. “You are not alone in this journey,” Meyer noted

A goal is to practice compassion by listening to the dementia community concerns and collectively sharing 'ah ha' moments and processes that others have utilized to make the dementia journey less difficult. Additionally, the group seeks to share and learn ideas that can be applied to make this journey less frustrating for loved ones as well.

The facilitator and the group will contribute knowledge by discussing various thoughts and ideas for solutions, including discovering new resources available to ease the individual unique challenges. This can also provide social contact for family members who feel isolated because of their continuing care of their loved one.

The Dementia Caregiver Support Group is open to all caregivers for dementia and Alzheimer's and to family members. For more information about the group, call 502-550-0987 or contact the Alzheimer's Association at 800.272.3900 or got to www.alz.org/greatermissouri/.