Posted on Dec 02, 2019
navigating the physical, emotional, and practical challenges that come with Alzheimer’s disease can be overwhelming.
But, while it may feel isolating, you’re not alone. More than 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and more than 16 million people help provide care for them. Connecting with others who are also going through a similar experience can be an empowering way to help cope with the challenges ahead.
From in-person meetings and online forums to financial planning tools and informative articles, Alzheimer’s support groups offer a wealth of tools and resources to better understand the disease, manage daily care, and make longterm decisions. To get you started, we’ve rounded up 5 of our favorite Alzheimer’s support groups.
The Alzheimer’s Association is one of the largest organizations dedicated to dementia research, support, and care. Their website has everything from e-learning workshops and financial planning tools to a free online community with active support forums. It’s also an excellent resource for finding in-person support groups within your city. Their directory allows you to search by zip code, making it easy to find local events and meetups.
They also have a 24/7 helpline staffed by masters-level clinicians and specialists who offer round-the-clock support in over 200 languages. Be sure to stop by their blog when checking out their site, too. They frequently publish insightful articles featuring advice (like how to strengthen communication with your loved one) and tools (such as free apps that make caregiving easier).
Psychology Today has an excellent collection of helpful articles on their blog. They cover everything from what you need to know about Alzheimer’s and sleep, to communication tips. Their articles are authored by physicians and experts in the field, so it’s a nice way to explore medical advice outside of your loved one’s network of physicians.
In addition to a great selection of content, they also have an extensive list of Alzheimer’s support groups that you can navigate by city.
Powered by the Alzheimer’s Association, AlzConnected is a free online community. As the name suggests, the group offers a place for people living with Alzheimer’s to connect, share stories, and support one another. The site features an active message board where people can get and give advice.
This message board offers thousands of posts on a variety of topics, including “I Have Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia”, “What Would You Tell Your Future Care Partner?” “Alzheimer’s Under Age 65,” and many more. There is also a section for discussion in Spanish, as well as a forum to explore questions, issues, and concerns about FDA-approved treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
Memory People was founded in 2010 by Rick Phelps after he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 57. The group was created to provide assistance, information, support, and encouragement. It’s a great place for people to hear the stories of others, and share their own. The page is also home to a collection of videos hosted by Rick. From stigma in dementia to caregiver guilt, his videos explore a range of topics.
Much more than simply a place to gather information, Memory People has grown into a community.
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Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA)
The Family Caregiver Alliance is a support organization offering hands-on resources to help guide family members who are caring for loved ones with dementia. Their Alzheimer’s overview has a helpful guide for navigating caregiving at each stage of the disease. They also have a YouTube channel with a ton of helpful videos that walk you through tips on how to manage challenges such as behavior and hygiene issues. The videos add a personal element that sets the FCA apart from other organizations.
You can also join an e-mail network, where you can connect with other family caregivers to ask questions and freely talk about your challenges in a safe place.
The Simple Dollar’s Financial Guide
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia can be financially taxing. To help navigate memory care management, The Simple Dollar created a comprehensive guide on how to pay for a loved one’s memory care. The article breaks down the cost of things like assisted living and medications, and provides different solutions to help people tackle the expense.
There are sections on Medicare, HSA’s, reverse mortgages, and more. The article also touches on some tips for legally taking over financial management for your loved one.
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