Why Join a Support Group

Teri Sellers

The PebbleCreek Alzheimer’s Support Group is available to all residents who have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or any related dementia.

I have been writing this article for years assuming that everyone who reads it understands what a support group is and why it is important to connect to a support group.

I checked the HOA website and found that in addition to our group, there is a support group for breast cancer, Parkinson’s, and AA.

The Mayo Clinic website encourages support group participation. Support groups: make connections, get help. If you’re facing a major illness or stressful life change, you don’t have to go it alone. A support group can help. The definition of a support group is a group of people with common experiences or concerns who provide each other with encouragement, comfort, and advice.

In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic. Members with the same issues can come together to share coping strategies, to feel more empowered, and for a sense of community. In an effective support group, negative emotions are addressed but do not become the main focus. People are allowed to have their feelings without hasty problem solving, while still being guided to their strengths and away from a victim focus.

Several advantages of a support group:

1. Realizing You Are Not Alone

This realization usually brings about a feeling of relief by gaining understanding that others have the same concerns and are there to help and encourage you.

2. Expressing Your Feelings

After you realize you are not alone, and are in a safe environment, you can share your feelings and experiences. This can be very therapeutic and a healing experience, as you find that the others in the group are understanding and non-judgmental.

3. Learning Helpful Information

Support groups offer lots of practical tips and resources for dealing with the concerns of the group, and members share their success stories and strategies that have been helpful.

4. Reducing Stress

As you learn more about the concerns that brought you to the group and connect with others in the group, many begin to notice a reduced level of overall stress and discomfort.

5. Confidentiality

A support group is a safe place to share or even vent. Like Vegas, what happens here, stays here!

Our group has resumed our monthly social breakfast. We are also resuming our support group meetings outdoors. Information on the meeting dates and times is shared with the group via our dedicated email.

You are not alone. Please feel free to call me, Teri Sellers, at 602-793-0299. I will share helpful resources and information with you and add you to our email list. Your information is always safe and confidential, and the benefits are priceless.