Whatever your position - whether you’re a Carer, or someone living with dementia - the chances are that you will have experienced feelings of isolation at some point on your dementia journey.
The very nature of a dementia diagnosis means that no two people will navigate the path in the same way. Which when combined with a host of other emotions at play, such as guilt, we can easily begin to feel like we’re facing the future alone. This is often also further exacerbated by attempts to protect those we love by keeping distressing thoughts, worries and pain to ourselves. While it can feel uncomfortable sharing your innermost thoughts with those closest to you - the anonymity of a group setting encourages many to open up more freely. This is where the group sessions at Sage House come into their own. Through this article, we will explore why activity and support groups are so valuable to those living with dementia and their families and how you can access them.
Can support groups help me if I’m living with early stage dementia?
In short, yes they can. Everyone’s experience of receiving a dementia diagnosis will be different. For some, it will come as a shock, while for others it can actually be a relief. Support groups offer valuable help, whatever stage you’re at. In early stage dementia, these group settings often play an important role in supporting you to both acknowledge and accept a recent diagnosis - while sharing your lived experience with others in a similar position.
At Sage House, you can also get involved in our Cognitive Stimulation Therapy Sessions (CST). A brilliant way to keep your mind stimulated and challenged. Engagement in a variety of group activities and discussions aims to maximise cognition, independence and well-being whilst reducing social isolation. CST has been shown to contribute to improved quality of life for people living with dementia.
Will a support group help my loved one if their dementia is more advanced?
Support, or activity groups can have a significant positive impact on living well with dementia - whatever stage you’re at.
Humankind is not solitary by nature. We live better and even for longer when we enjoy the benefits that regular socialisation brings. Studies have also shown that social inclusion can actually slow the progress of dementia. Encouraging your loved one to take advantage of the many group activities on offer at Sage House can help with:
staying healthy and active
feeling valued and supported
spending time together (or perhaps giving you some needed time apart)
continuing to do what they enjoy in a safe environment
Group sessions for Carers and loved ones
Becoming a Carer for someone you love is one of the most emotionally demanding roles you can have. Taking time to recharge your own batteries is the best way to ensure you’re equipped to cope with the challenges of daily life. Support groups are a fantastic outlet for sharing your lived experience. They’re a safe and non-judgemental environment, where people who are going through the same thing can come together for a mutual morale boost.
Caring for someone who is living with dementia is hard. You wear a number of hats - including, cook, comforter, medic and more. The Empowering Carers courses we run at Sage House are designed to support the many and varied facets of your caring role, while giving you an outlet for sharing your own experiences with others in the group.
How can I get involved?
If you’d like to find out more about specific support groups, activities or courses we offer, please reach out to our Wayfinding Team for tips on the best groups to suit your specific situation. You could also come along to one of our Chatter Table sessions. They take place in Daisy’s Café every weekday 10am and are a great way for Caregivers and Customers to meet in a more informal setting.