With more 330,000 people in Australia with dementia, there are about 1.2 million people in Australia involved in the care of someone with dementia. As you can see dementia doesn’t only affect those who are diagnosed with the condition, it affects people on the peripheral – individuals and families caring for them. The University College London completed research into the hidden toll of dementia on carers. The results showed 40 per cent of those providing direct care to a family member with dementia to suffer from anxiety or clinical depression at any one time.
The combination of the physical demands of caregiving, loss and prolonged distress may compromise carers physical health and increase their risk of social isolation. Carer support interventions are an important component of supporting people with dementia. As a carer of a person with dementia, you will want to do everything you can to support and provide the very best care to the person you support. However it’s important that you take time out and take regular check-ins with yourself or a health professional to see how you are coping as it can be overwhelming. Too much stress can be harmful for both you and the person you care for. Check out Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver Stress Check there are also many other resources that may be of benefit also.
Often carers are reluctant to seek help or join a support group as it can seem to be another appointment or another ‘thing’ they need to fit into their already hectic schedule. Not only that there is often the worry of who will care for their loved one when they are taking time out for themselves? Which are all valid and reasonable concerns however planning for yourself is an important part of the caring role.
Which makes online carer support groups all the more appealing offering a range of potential advantages from accessibility, tailoring the topics to meet you individual needs and asking those difficult questions you may not otherwise ask in a face-to-face group. Whilst there is still more research to be undertaken on the effectiveness of online support groups it certain is a great alternative if you can’t make a face-to-face group for whatever reason.
Why don’t you give it ago? After all it’s easy to switch off computer if you aren’t getting what you want from it.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to find any online Dementia specific forums in Australia that offered the same amount of engagement. Check out what we did find though.
UK’s leading dementia support and research charity, here for anyone affected by any form of dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Talking Point – Alzheimer’s Society’s online discussion forum for anyone affected by dementia. It’s a place to ask for advice, share information, join in discussions and feel supported.
Caring.com is an American website for those seeking information and support as they care for ageing parents, spouses, and other loved ones.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organisation in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
Check out the online forum at The Alzheimer’s Association to support for all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Unfortunately we have not come across any online dementia care specific forums in Australia that offer the same amount of engagement.
If you support someone with dementia and know of a top online forum please share with our community in the comment section below.
Or alternatively what are the best face-to-face Dementia Care Support Groups in your local area?