Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Hosting a Month-Long Telephone-Based Support Group for Family Caregivers
For the staff at SelectCare Home Care Services of NY, few things are as important or as rewarding as helping family caregivers – the 65 million-plus Americans who work every day as a loved one’s primary support and guardian.
While our staff of Home Health Aides, LPNs and RNs can provide critical respite care, allowing family caregivers to catch their breath, continue working or tend to their own needs, we understand that it’s all too easy for caregivers to feel like they are alone in the world.
Caregivers of individuals with chronic illnesses face a variety of challenges and emotions running the gamut from anxiety to frustration. That’s why we at SelectCare are pleased to learn that the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) will host a month-long telephone-based support group for family caregivers to reassure participants that they are not alone in their efforts. The program is completely free and open to anyone who cares for a family member experiencing Alzheimer’s disease or related illness.
The support group, facilitated by Lauren Snedeker, LSMW, one of AFA’s team of licensed social workers, will take place every Monday in April, from 7-8 p.m. EDT.
AFA recognizes that caregivers have many demands on their time, so the idea of a phone-based support groups is to meet people where they are – they can join from their home, their office, or wherever they may be, in this case, one hour a week during a four-week period.
“These groups disrupt isolation among caregivers,” Snedeker said. “Sometimes it’s hard to step out of the home to find support. Not everyone has a smart phone, tablet or computer and [phone-based support groups] allow people living in rural areas, or living with ailments themselves to connect with other caregivers, completely free.”
AFA’s phone-based support groups are offered throughout the year. Space is limited and registration is required. In addition, AFA has a network of more than 2,400 Alzheimer’s and dementia-related member organizations across the country and can connect would-be participants to a variety of in-person programs.
“Some groups are education-based, others are more about how caregivers feel, their emotions,” Snedeker said. “This group is about the members, first and foremost. We encourage discussion, and create a safe space to share. As facilitator, I provide focus topics and themes, but the direction the conversation takes depends on the needs of the caregivers.”
Conversations are designed to be open, with topics ranging from providing emotional support to caregivers, to more practical advice related to care.
While this support group is general in nature and suitable for most caregivers, in the past, AFA has offered more-specific groups, including early-onset Alzheimer’s, spouses of individuals with Alzheimer’s and related illnesses, grief and transitions, and long-distance caregiving.
In addition to providing these free support groups, AFA’s team of licensed social workers provides caregiver support daily through its national toll-free helpline (866-232-8484), which offers assistance in English and Spanish, Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. EDT.
SelectCare is a strong supporter of this program and we invite our community to tell anyone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s about this incredible program. AFA plans to organize more telephone and in-person meetings in the coming months—including an in-person support group at its New York headquarters, beginning in May. We will continue to draw attention to these important events.
To learn more about how SelectCare can help you and your loved ones, no matter what challenges you face, please call us today to speak with a home health care expert.
To register for AFA’s April support group, contact Lauren Snedeker at 866-232-8484 x117 or by e-mail at email@example.com.