Should I or shouldn't I?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Gromit, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Gromit

    Gromit Registered User

    Apr 3, 2006
    187
    Edinburgh
    Hi everyone - sorry but I seem to be asking for alot of your help lately - hope you don't mind.

    As you probably know my Dad was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimers the other week and I am trying to get to grips with it.

    I have also been working like a maniac and visiting Mum and Dad every month (they live 300+ miles away) which has resulted in me being signed off work (I was doing 30hours plus work in two days sometimes!). I suppose they call it "burn out" and it is quite common in my line of work. Doctor wants me to take time to relax and get my sleep pattern back - which it seems to now be doing - phew.

    Anyway I went to a councilling session yesterday to talk about work-life balance (so when I go back to work I can learn to manage expectations better) and also how to deal with my Dad's diagnosis.

    I mentioned TP is part of my support network and that I had arranged for Alz Org rep near my parents to visit my Mum to get support going for Mum. The counciller asked me what I was doing up here in Scotland - and that I too should try and see an Alzheimers Support group here.

    Now I think this is a good idea but (and here's where I need your help) I'm a bit scared to go to one. I've never dealt with this sort of thing before (my Gran had AD but I was 4 when she died to so don't really remember). Is getting in touch with a local group a good idea? Do I need to meet similar people or will it be too upsetting for me. And here is the really awful thing - I'm scared I might meet someone in later stage Alzheimers and what if I can't cope with it! What an awful thing for me to say when all of you are caring and coping so well. Part of me doesn't want to see what can happen to Dad yet I can understand why the counciller wants me to get support - or can I? Dad doesn't live up here he's in Yorkshire - should I go to a Scotland support group. I feel such a wimp at the moment not sure what to do. I have the phone number but haven't dared to call it yet.

    Any advice would really, really be appreciated. I hate this disease already and can't believe that Dad has it - do I really want to know the worst? Help please.

    Thanks.

    Alison
    x
     
  2. ROSEANN

    ROSEANN Registered User

    Oct 1, 2006
    909
    staffordshire
    should I

    Dear Alison
    Glad to hear you are taking some time off it will help you I am sure, if we let our selves get too low everthing seems so much worse.
    I like you did not know if I wanted to go to a group meeting but joined our local Alzheimers cafe which is for carers and the person they care for or just carers on their own.We have a loverly time with tea and coffee and someone comes to give us advice and lots of help, I have made a lot of new friends and just talking to someone who undersatands what I am going through helps me.
    All I can say is go to a meeting and see what its like, If its not for you you do not have to go again.
    Let us know how you go on
    All the best Roseann
     
  3. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,105
    Toronto, Canada
    Give it a go

    I have been going to a support group for carers for 6 years this month. At the beginning, it was an incredible lifeline to find people in the same situation. The friendship and advice were wonderful. We have a lot of laughs & there are a few tears. They are my Alzheimer family and I couldn't do without them.

    I am now in the process of training to become a facilitator of a support group and in a few weeks I will be leading the group I have been going to.

    Obviously, I highly recommend it. At least you can go a few times & decide if it's for you or not. It may not be. Let us know.

    Joanne
     
  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Alison

    I agree, give it a go. If you don't feel it's for you, it won't matter.

    Give your local branch of Alzscot a ring and ask them what support groups thay have . There will probably be one which is just for carers, which would be more suitable for you as you are not caring directly. They may also have coffee mornings, or pop-in sessions, where you can come and go as you please.

    Thay can be very helpful, as there are often speakers advising on handling specific problems, and it's so useful just to chat to other carers.

    I went to ours with John for a while, but I no longer go because of John's loss of comprehension -- it was just boring for him, and he got restless.

    Let us know.
     
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,556
    Kent
    Hi Alison,

    I`m due to attend my first support group next month.

    When I phoned to enquire, I was really touched by the warmth of the response and was told I`d be welcome whenever I wanted to go.

    I`d certainly give it a try, in your shoes, after all, you`ve nothing to lose. You are not having to make a commitment.

    I hope you do try to go. it`s always an ordeal, going to something like that for the first time, but if you don`t try, you`ll never know.

    Good luck.
     
  6. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Hi Alson, you have nothing to lose, and I am sure you will find a lot of help and support.

    Do let us know how things go. Love n'hugs,
     
  7. carol

    carol Registered User

    Jun 24, 2004
    196
    Surrey/Hampshire
    Hello all,

    I attend a monthly support group, and a monthly Alzheimer cafe, I have been going for several years, all of the people have become friends. It is good to know that other people are going through the same situations as you, everyone is at different stages and there is always someone to help solve a problem. We have professionals, ie social workers and CPN that regularly visit, and actually I always look forward to the meetings, sometimes there are tears, sometimes there are a lot of laughs, but we are all there for the same reason.

    Best wishes.

    Carolx
     
  8. Gromit

    Gromit Registered User

    Apr 3, 2006
    187
    Edinburgh
    First step

    Well I have been in touch with our local Alzheimers group today. They are sending out an information pack which will detail their monthly groups.

    Also one of their development workers lives quite close by and they have kindly passed her number on to me to call tomorrow.

    I think I will likely join their membership - and it would be nice to get involved going forward I think - use some of my skills for others benefit rather than the fat cat corporate world (which I am thinking of leaving! But that's another story).

    The lady on the phone was very understanding and easy to talk to. So that made it all the better.

    Well first positive step taken. Feeling much better for doing so.

    Thanks for all your encouragement and I will keep you posted.

    Love to you all.

    Alison
    x
     
  9. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Well done, Alison. It's good that you've been able to do something positive this morning, and are already thinking of helping others.

    I'm sur you'll find your local group supportive.

    Love,
     
  10. pizzapie

    pizzapie Registered User

    Apr 25, 2007
    6
    What they need is real help

    Why is this forum so saccharine? What people need is not virtual hugs and reassurance ( which is just a temporary bandage to the wound) but real help in this appalling situation in England where the elderly just don't matter
     
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,556
    Kent
    And is that what you think you have given in your post, pizzapie. It doesn`t seem to have offered any real help to anyone, only real criticism.
     
  12. Gromit

    Gromit Registered User

    Apr 3, 2006
    187
    Edinburgh
    Real help?

    The support I have recieved by being on this forum is a real help to me regardless of your comments pizzapie. If you don't agree with virtual hugs etc then don't join in. But certainly don't knock what works for others.

    I learn more from others opinions - rather than forcing my own onto others.

    Regards
     
  13. mocha

    mocha Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    176
    Lancs, England
    Groups

    Why do some people come onto this forum if they don't want to help. We seem to have had a few of these lately.
    My opinon is that if people join an Alzheimer's Support Group as soon as they are involved they will find so much support at the time they most need it.
    I cried at my first meeting because it was so hard just saying that my beloved husband had Alzheimer's but it was such a relief to be able to talk to other people in the same boat. We have a marvellous time and go out for meals 3 times a year[all on funds]

    Best of Luck and let us know how you go on.
    Hugs and squeezes to all
    Aileen
     
  14. Gromit

    Gromit Registered User

    Apr 3, 2006
    187
    Edinburgh
    I started this thread to pluck up the courage to go to a support group - and interested in others experiences of them.

    After some great advice I have been in touch and yesterday received in the post information regarding the times and dates. I think my main fear was that I may be upset at one of these groups which wouldn't be very beneficial to those who already attend. However, having listened to what you all have to say its seems that tears and laughter are to be expected. Only prob I have now is trying to get the time off work to attend the next one (mid afternoon last Thursday of each month). But it will happen!

    Thank you for all of your opinions I have listened to them all and they are much appreciated.

    Alison
    x
     
  15. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Hi Alison,

    Glad you have found help with a support group. Nothing like talking face to face to people with similar problems. I only just found out that our local Alz Group runs workshops/meeting for people who have just been diagnosed with dementia. Just so they can all air their feelings, emotions and hopefully share practical experiences.

    I really do think that face to face meetings are great for people in similar situations and really wish that their had been something like this around when dad was diagnosed. A big part of the problem is the isolation that so many carers feel.

    Glad you took the leap :)

    Kind Regards
    Craig
     
  16. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Alison

    Glad you've managed to find a group. Let's hope you do manage to get time off work, I'm sure you'll find it helpful.

    Love,
     

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