The Alzheimer’s Association is seeking volunteers with experience with dementia to be trained on facilitating caregiver support groups to take place in Clay County.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s support groups are designed to provide emotional, educational and social support for caregivers through regularly scheduled meetings. Support Groups help participants develop methods and skills to solve problems faced when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Groups encourage caregivers to maintain their own personal, physical and emotional health, as well as optimally care for the person with dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is particularly difficult on caregivers. Statistics show caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia have higher rates of stress related illness and are 63% more likely to die before their non-caregiving peers. However, research shows caregivers who reach out for support and access supportive services, including attending support groups, show significantly decreased levels of caregiving related stress as well as stress related illnesses.
“Caregiver Support groups are a wonderful service to provide in your community,” said Carolyn Canini, family service director for the Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter. “They are a vital connection for many caregivers who face an isolating and long road, and need the support, ideas and encouragement of their peers.”
The qualifications for this volunteer position include the ability to be empathetic. Strong listening skills and effective communication skills are key. One must have the ability to create and maintain a safe environment where participants’ thoughts and feelings are valued as well as ensuring that all group members are treated with fairness, equality, and respect.
If anyone is interested in volunteering, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 800.272.3900. For more information on Alzheimer’s disease or available resources, visit alz.org or call our 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900.