When going through difficulties in life we can often feel alone. We tend to internalize the idea that we are the only ones experiencing a particular situation. We seek to find people who have similar experiences and can understand what we are going through. Support groups are one way to connect with individuals who understand our situation and can offer advice or comfort. These groups provide the opportunity to share and discuss both personal challenges and celebrations.
Community groups are based on the core idea that talking about the things that are bothering you has the potential to help clarify and put them into perspective.
5 Benefits Of Support Groups
Talking About Life Changes In A Non-Judgmental Space
Support groups must provide a safe space for people to share their experiences without feeling as though they are being judged. This allows each participant to feel validated in their feelings and safe with the facilitator and the group. Feeling validated and free to share in a setting that is supportive and open, can be the first step in moving toward positive opportunities.
Sharing Coping Strategies
A support group can provide new opportunities for participants to learn about coping and compensatory strategies. A trained facilitator as well as group participant personal stories offer creative “tried and true” ideas. Groups are a good place to process and practice new ways of doing things. When individuals share their own stories, there can be many positive outcomes. Some of these outcomes include, becoming aware of personal patterns, learning to manage thoughts and emotions, building a platform on which to change habits, and exploring new skills that can lead to desired changes.
We all want to live an empowered life. Support groups can help us identify our abilities and the right kind of support we need to be able to live a confident and content life. Support groups assist participants in discovering what they are still capable of doing. They also highlight and suggest specific types of support that individuals may need. Lastly, they encourage participants to connect with themselves and one another.
Reduce Loneliness and Isolation
Loneliness and isolation have been identified as a major concerns for care partners and people living with dementia. The common perceptions of loss and limited abilities create experiences of separation and loss of relationships. Many people living with dementia become isolated because others do not know how to stay connected with them. In each of these scenarios, people begin to step away from one another. Support groups eliminate the feelings of loneliness and isolation by creating a space for people who experience similar things, forming a community, and addressing feelings of connectedness and understanding.
Coping With Grief and Loss
Support groups can help individuals cope with grief and loss of: independence or lifestyle, abilities, living situations, relationships, or communities. Grief and loss are very real experiences for people living with dementia and their care partners. A support group is a good place for them to be able to process these feelings and move to a healthier and happier life.
Orchard at Athens understands this importance and is here to support our Athens area residents with a new simultaneous support group both for people living with dementia and their care partners. Contact us to learn more about our programs.