TOWNSHEND, Vt. – The Alzheimer’s Association Vermont Chapter is launching a new monthly caregiver support group starting in June during Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. The first meeting is Thursday, June 7 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Grace Cottage Community Wellness Center.
Often times, caregivers of those suffering from various forms of dementia say they are looking for support from people who “really understand because they’ve been there, too.” An Alzheimer’s caregiver support group offers just that – a safe place for caregivers, family, and friends of persons living with dementia to meet and develop a mutual support system. Participation in a support group can be an empowering experience, helping members feel better prepared to cope with their unique situation. Support group members report feeling less alone, more able to confront their daily problems, and more hopeful about their future.
Given the long duration of this disease, the strain on Alzheimer’s caregivers can last several years and produce serious declines in caregiver physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing. In 2017, 16 million Americans provided an estimated 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care in the form of physical, emotional, and financial support. The difficulties associated with providing this level of care are estimated to have resulted in $11.4 billion in additional healthcare costs for Alzheimer’s and other dementia caregivers in 2017.
The Grace Cottage support group will be led by trained facilitators Claire Bemis, R.N., of Grace Cottage and Alicia Moyer of SASH. The group will meet on the first Thursday of each month as long as there is interest. There is no charge to attend. The Grace Cottage Community Wellness Center is located in the Heins Building, 133 Grafton Rd., Townshend. Registration is not required but appreciated. For more information or to confirm your attendance, call 802-365-3763.