St. Joseph of the Pines Forms Caregiver Support Group
On July 17, a kickoff event for the newly created St. Joseph of the Pines (SJP) Alzheimer's Association Caregiver Support Group was held at Belle Meade.
Designed to provide emotional, educational and social support for caregivers, the group's first meeting attracted many caregivers from the community.
"SJP has partnered with the Alzheimer's Association of the Western Carolina Chapter to create and implement an Alzheimer's Association Caregiver Support Group for the community," says Lisa Mudd, facilitator and director of arts and leisure at Belle Meade. "In addition to providing much-needed support to caregivers, the group also helps participants develop methods and skills to solve the kinds of problems caregivers often face. We encourage caregivers to find ways to balance their own personal, physical and emotional health while providing the best possible care to those afflicted with dementia."
The kickoff event for the group featured a showing of the HBO documentary "The Alzheimer's Project," which, for many attendees, raised awareness about the disease: what it is, who gets it, who is at risk, how people can find out if they have it, how it can be treated, and who is affected.
"There are seven trained facilitators for our group," explains Mudd. "Each facilitator will plan and lead a meeting to foster a rapport with the group in its beginning stages. Hopefully, this will open the meeting to speakers, touching on different subjects, but always coming back to fulfill the group's needs. Around the holidays, we'll look at ways to alleviate stress and provide an outlet to channel frustrations around what can be an emotionally difficult time."
The caregiver support group meetings will be held every third Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Belle Meade. The group's next meeting will be held on Aug. 21. For more information, call (910) 246-3014.
St. Joseph of the Pines is an aging service network offering a full continuum of retirement housing, health care and community-based services for older adults as well as community outreach.
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