Whether you’re caring for someone with dementia and memory care issues or you’ve been afflicted with them yourself, it’s critical for you to understand that this is one journey you do not have to take alone.
According to one recent study conducted by the Alzheimer’s Association, the total number of people in Massachusetts living with these conditions rose to 120,000 in 2016. That number is expected to increase to roughly 150,000 by as soon as 2025.
The same study revealed that Alzheimer’s, in particular, has been the sixth leading cause of death in the state since 2013, claiming more than 1,600 victims on average each year and requiring more than 370 million hours of unpaid care.
Fortunately, there are countless support groups located all across the Boston area right now that prove it.
Boston Area Resources for Dementia & Memory Care
Here are a few valuable local organizations, all of which have dedicated themselves to helping people in your position in the Boston area. These all represent opportunities for support, education, and empowerment. They also provide something far more important – a path forward.
Alzheimer’s Association Support Groups in Massachusetts
As the name suggests, these support groups are conducted by the Alzheimer’s Association – the world’s leading voluntary health organization when it comes to dementia, Alzheimer’s and memory care support and research.
Both broad and specialty caregiver support groups regularly take place at various times during the month in areas all across the state, including many right in the heart of Boston.
To find out more information about the support group sessions that are closest to your location, visit the organization’s official website here.
Boston Children of Younger-Onset Caregiver Support Group
Taking place on the third Tuesday of every month, the Boston Children of Younger-Onset Caregiver Support Group intends to offer the safest and most supportive environment possible for those looking after a loved one going through the early stages of dementia or memory loss.
The aspect that makes this group unique is that it is aimed at adult children who are at least 18-years-old, but who may not be that much older.
Experts regularly educate and inform attendees about new information concerning dementia, help those participants develop better methods and skills to solve the types of challenges they face on a daily basis, and more.
Anything shared during one of these meetings is kept strictly confidential at all times.
Cambridge Area Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers Support Group at Neville Place at Fresh Pond
Occurring on the first Wednesday of every month in Cambridge, this support group is dedicated to helping anyone who has been affected by these conditions – both patients and their caregivers alike.
Educational materials and other essential information are often provided, as is a caring and supportive community who will listen to what you have to say and help you navigate through this distressing time to the most positive outcome possible.
Caregiver Support Group
Operated by Bruce Bradley-Gilbert MA, LMHC, ATR, this Caregiver Support Group prides itself on its ability to offer a quiet, welcoming and strictly confidential environment for people caring for friends and other loved ones who have been stricken with dementia.
The group meets weekly and promises no judgment, stigma or discrimination. They simply wish to provide a shared space for supporting others, offering a level of intimacy and support for those going through this difficult experience that many are unlikely to find through other avenues.
In addition to working with dementia and Alzheimer’s caregivers, they also work with topics like chronic illness and grief.
Massachusetts General Hospital’s Dementia Education and Support Group for Caregivers
Occurring at the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Memory Disorders Division, this totally free support group is available to both patients and their care providers who have been referred by any of the facility’s clinicians.
Meetings are held on the first Monday of every month and sessions include group discussions, the distribution of educational materials, the sharing of coping mechanisms and care strategies, and much more.
Additional groups called the Fundamental Skills for Caregiving Series are held on the remaining Mondays every month in the same location.
North River Home Care
North River Home Care is a family owned and operated Norwell home care company, which has been proudly serving those in Boston (as well as those in Cape Cod, South Shore and more) for many years.
North River’s highly trained, passionate and dedicated staff can serve both dementia patients and their family members with a wide variety of different needs, including but not limited to the following:
- Personal care
- Companionship care
- Respite care
- Dedicated Alzheimer’s and dementia care
North River also acts as an invaluable information resource, providing videos, books and other items designed to help both patients and their family members live the best and richest lives possible.
NVNA and Hospice Mid-Stage Alzheimer’s Support Group
Taking place on the second Monday of each month, these hour and a half sessions at the NVNA and Hospice Mid-Stage Alzheimer’s Support Group are conducted by trained and certified Alzheimer’s professionals.
Attendees regularly receive educational materials and other invaluable resources as well as support for caring for their loved ones who are going through the middle stages of this devastating disease.
Frequent topics of discussion include but are not limited to things like caregiving strategies, the proper techniques that one can use to tackle frequent problems that caregivers face, and more.
South Weymouth Church of the Nazarene Early Stage Alzheimer’s Care Partner Support Group
Happening on the first Wednesday of each month, the Early Stage Alzheimer’s Care Partner Support Group takes place in a church located just 15 short miles from downtown Boston.
It’s designed for both individuals suffering from the early stages of dementia and their care providers and is facilitated by both the NVNA and Hospice.
It is important to note, however, that this particular group only meets from October to May every year.
Standish Village At Lower Mills
In addition to acting as a distinguished memory care facility, Standish Village at Lower Mills provides a wide range of different services that are essential for people living with the advanced stages of dementia.
Not only does a dentist visit the community on a regular basis, but physical therapy is offered on-site by a visiting physical therapist. The staff at Standish Village are also highly trained in many of the behavioral and psychological issues that patients often exhibit.
Arabic is also spoken fluently by staff members at this location.
Standish Village’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Group
Certified by the Alzheimer’s Association and totally open to members of the public, Standish Village’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Group meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 4:00 PM, EST.
The group is designed to bring together as many people as possible who are all going through a shared experience – both people with dementia and memory care issues and their loved ones.
This support group is presented in a way that encourages participants to share personal experiences and feelings, trade coping strategies, and provide other beneficial information.
Locating Dementia & Memory Care Resources in Boston
As you can see, there are many resources and support groups in Boston for people dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed or your loved one’s condition is progressing, it’s important to seek comfort and advice from knowledgeable professionals.