A new support group for those who look after those with Alzheimer’s disease is being organized by the Valley Health System in Paramus, New Jersey, and caregivers in the area are urged to participate, according to The New Jersey Record.
The free program is offered to all family and friends of a loved one with the cognitive-impairing disease, and provides an outlet for the caregivers to talk to other people in similar situations. The program is sponsored by Distinctive Care Geriatric Care Management, according to the news outlet.
“It is really important that caregivers take care of themselves as well as their loved ones,” Sophia Heftler, nurse and president of Distinctive Care, told the news source. “Attending a support group surrounded by people who are experiencing many of the same issues is a way to perform self-care. There is no harder job than to be a caregiver, and it’s OK to have someone look after your loved one while you take care of yourself.”
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, it is imperative caregivers look after themselves as well. Studies have illustrated that caregivers can run into their own health problems because they put the aging adult’s well-being above their own. However, it is necessary for the caregiver to find a balance. Support groups can help these individuals provide better care while looking after themselves.
There are many benefits to caregiving, as it allows the aging adult to grow old in place while a family member takes care of them. Another solution is to hire a home care professional, who can look after the elderly loved one while the family caregiver is at work or running errands each day.