Dealing With Alzheimer’s? Shun Isolation Through Social Support Groups
When people say, “I know how you feel,” they usually don’t. But when you find someone who really has been there, it can be such a comfort.
That’s what some people dealing with Alzheimer’s in Oregon have found. The San Francisco Chronicle profiles two local support groups for people who have the disease and their caregivers. One is called the Wild Bunch.
The Wild Bunch began as a motley group of strangers. During an eight-month series on memory loss, five married couples and two women who stayed good friends after being married to the same man shared some of the most intimate experiences of their lives. When the class ended, they weren’t about to let that go.
“My wife and I were on our way home from that meeting, and we said, no, this can’t be,” said [Dave] Caswell, 78. “We’ve really grown to love these people and care for each other. Let’s invite them all over to our house in Beaverton for a potluck.”
The Wild Bunch has been meeting regularly ever since. The other group the article profiles was started by a nurse and social worker and has a speaker for every meeting.
Such groups help counteract the isolation and loneliness Alzheimer’s can bring, the article points out. And members of the Wild Bunch help each other out practically too, giving rides, meals, and coffee chats.
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.