CARLINVILLE - The next meeting of the Dementia Caregivers Support Group will be held at the Carlinville Public Library on Wednesday, March 13 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

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Affiliated with the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the support group is a gathering where individuals affected by Alzheimer’s Disease or related types of dementia can meet to share experiences, find emotional support, and exchange practical advice.

“A good caregiver support group can be a lifeline,” said Lisa Wolf, the Carlinville support group leader, in a press release. “It’s a place to share feelings confidentially, make friends, and learn from others who have walked a similar path.”

The group welcomes individuals who are care partners, family members, and loved ones of those with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, whether the loved one is at home, or in a nursing home or other facility.

Wolf spent several years caring for both of her parents who suffered from the disease. She shares her experience with participants in the support group, who may be dealing with similar issues.

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“That is what our support group is all about,” said Wolf, “talking over the questions, concerns, and frustrations of caregiving together.”

The support group encourages members to share information, give and receive mutual support, and exchange coping skills with one another. Members share practical suggestions for caregiving based on their own experiences.

“Caring for an individual with dementia requires different techniques than those needed to care for someone who is not cognitively impaired,” remarked Wolf. “Experienced care partners have found that some methods of care, ideas that may not be found in books or articles, can make caregiving easier. Sharing those ideas in a support group can be extremely helpful to new care partners.”

Perhaps the most important aspect of a support group is the atmosphere of caring, frankness, and confidentiality it provides. Care partners need the freedom to express their emotions without feeling guilt, and need the positive reinforcement given by others who know the hard work of providing care.

“A support group gives its members the chance to vent their frustrations, anger, and disappointments, as well as share their successes in a safe, non-judgmental environment,” said Wolf. “In the process, members take the first step in restructuring their lives by forming new relationships with each other.”

For more information on Alzheimer’s Disease or help for caregivers, call 800-272-3900 or visit alz.org.

Registration is preferred, but not mandatory. For more information on the support group or the public programs offered at the Carlinville Public Library, contact 217-854-3505 or mail@carlinvillelibrary.org.

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