Living with or caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia can be stressful and overwhelming, but they aren’t the only ones who need support. Doctors, nurses, and other care providers can shoulder the stress and emotional toll as they come to know and care for patients and families facing Alzheimer’s and other dementia. Even the medical professionals we rely on for support, need someone to lean on sometimes.
That’s why were are excited to announce a new Alzheimer’s Association support group that is designed for the unique needs of healthcare professionals in our community. This new virtual support group for healthcare professionals is conducted by trained facilitators who are also local physicians, Cheryl Beighle, MD and Rob Scarr, MD.
“The group is just starting out and so far we have a therapist and a nurse practitioner,” said Dr. Beighle. “They both voiced how nice it is to be with other healthcare practitioners. People think because we work in healthcare we can handle everything. It is nice to be in a group where they can show vulnerability and be a human taking care of someone they love.”
The group is open to anyone working in the medical community – from physicians to nurses to respiratory therapists to medical assistants. The only common thread needed is that along with working in medicine, attendees also personally support a family member or friend with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
“Often clinicians in caregiver support groups become ‘subject matter experts’ when the rest of the group learns of their profession, and it becomes difficult to ‘just be a caregiver.’ This support group is designed to allow you to meet with professional peers who understand your situation,” said Karen Thompson, the Alzheimer’s Association’s Community Support Manager.
The group meets virtually the second Tuesday of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It provides attendees with a platform to:
- Develop a support system.
- Exchange practical information on challenges and possible solutions.
- Talk through issues and ways of coping.
- Share feelings, needs and concerns.
- Learn about community resources.
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death of people in the United States. More than 6 million Americans are living with the disease. In Washington, there are 120,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia and 297,000 caregivers. All programs and services of the Alzheimer’s Association are provided to families at no charge, including a 24/7 Helpline, staffed by trained professionals. To get a link to this virtual support group, call the Association’s Helpline at 800-272-3900
Find a full list of our support groups at alzwa.org/support.