Dementia support groups are needed more
by the care givers than by the care recipients. The caregivers suffer
from their own kind of loneliness. Care giving is so demanding that
it crimps their social life.
Also, some family members deliberately
stay away for fear that they will somehow get involved in the care
giving. Some friends stay away because 'they don't want to see the
person in such difficult circumstances' or because they are 'busy'.
Loneliness can possibly cause dementia...
...later in life according to a Dutch study published in the Journal Of
Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry (ref:
The study concluded that “feeling
lonely … is associated with an increased risk of clinical dementia
in later life and …”
A person suffering from dementia also
suffers from loneliness because of the loss of cognitive abilities
and the resulting loss of independence.
Even though loneliness increases your
risk of dementia...
...later in life and dementia inevitably results in
loneliness, it is not a vicious circle. That is because the effects
of loneliness are felt over a long term and the effects of dementia
are felt over a comparatively shorter term.
Dementia results in the loneliness of
...care recipient and that of the care giver. As a care giver you
have to take care of your physical and mental health so you can
continue to take care of the increasing needs of the care recipient.
That means taking care of yourself from the time you start providing
the care. Arranging for respite care is an important part of taking
care of yourself.
Providing care to a person with
dementia is an intensely emotional and physical experience. Arranging
for respite care and joining a dementia support group are steps that
will help you do well at providing good care. Support groups do
understand that they have to provide support for the care recipients
and the care givers.
Some of the websites for dementia
support groups are:
They have a 24/7 help line – 1-800-272-3900
dementia.supportgroups.com At this
website you will find participants who are care givers and those who
have been diagnosed with dementia.
Access to Respite Care and Help –
This website will provide you resources and information about respite
care and also a Respite Care locator for the USA.
Loneliness is one of the smaller
problems encountered by care givers and care recipients but it has
serious effects on both. It is worth your effort to use the resources
mentioned above so you can arrange for respite care and also organize
visits by friends and family to reduce the effects of loneliness on
the care recipient.
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