What to Know About Mild-Stage Alzheimer's Support Groups

One good way to come to terms (individually or as a family) with a diagnosis of dementia is to join a mild-stage support group. Designed to allay fear and worry and to help families react proactively to the disorder, these special groups also put you in touch with others coping with the same kinds of emotions, from anger and loss to black humor.

Here are some helpful aspects to mild-stage Alzheimer's support groups:

  • They often have a strong social component. Meetings feature outings and conversation designed to get members interacting.

  • The person with dementia can go alone. Some groups are just for the patients, others are for the caregivers, and still others encourage both to attend together.

  • Many people with mild dementia find it a relief to be able to be candid about their condition among others who are in the same boat.

  • Mild-stage support groups tend to be about empowering the person with dementia; they offer support and strategies. They're much less mere respite-type services.

  • Relationships that form in mild-stage groups often are strong and long lasting, as the person with dementia declines and the need for emotional support for the family members grows stronger.

You can find a mild-stage support group through your local Alzheimer's Association or through a memory clinic at a hospital.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio