For families of those who are living with Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia, support groups are a comfort in a number of ways. They provide the opportunity to connect with others who are feeling the same way and can help normalize the experience of being a caretaker. Support groups also serve as a tremendous resource for those who wish to learn more about managing stress and understanding their loved ones’ behavior.
Saint Mary Home, part of The Mercy Community, hosts two Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Support Groups per month. On the second Tuesday of each month, a group for spouses takes place in The Fitzgerald Café from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm. (Enter from Steele Rd. by the lightpole banner that reads, “Short-term Rehabilitation.) A group for family caregivers is offered on the second Thursday of each month in the Center 1 Dining Room from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Use the Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Entrance off Albany Ave.) This month’s Caregiver Support Group for the Spouse takes place on Tuesday, March 11; the Family Caregiver Support Group takes place on Thursday, March 13.
Director for Dementia Education and Programming Eileen Cleary facilitates The Mercy Community’s support groups. Eileen is a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse with a master’s degree in Gerontology. She is also licensed as a Nursing Home Administrator and is an Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Qualified Dementia Care Specialist. Eileen’s focused expertise creates a group dynamic that centers on education, connection and comfort.
Meetings run for one hour and refreshments are served. While advance registration is appreciated, walk-ins are welcome. For inquiries and registration information, contact Eileen Cleary, director for dementia education and programming, at 860.570.8335.
Meetings are free and there is no commitment to attend long term. Saint Mary Home, part of The Mercy Community, is located at 2021 Albany Avenue in West Hartford, CT.