Eight Ways Our Support Group Program is Unique

By Abby Nathanson, Director of Support Groups

### They’re totally free. We run 2,300 support group sessions a year, in person across the five boroughs for all New Yorkers, and never charge anyone a dime for it.

You’re connecting with other dementia caregivers, people who get what you’re going through.
Our groups are for people who understand exactly what it means to be a caregiver for someone with dementia. It’s a unique experience, and sometimes, you just want to talk to someone who gets it.

Our network is vast.

We have over 90 groups being run by 85 different people. We have groups for veterans, the LGBT community, teens, caregivers of people with specific dementias (Lewy bodies, frontotemporal, progressive supranuclear palsy) and all dementias, daughters, partners, and adult children. We have groups for speakers of Russian, Korean, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese. We have groups for when you’re a caregiver and groups for when you’re grieving. The scale of our program means that if one group isn’t a great fit, we can usually find another.

We’re not running drop-in groups.

The people in the groups are committed to each other. Our leaders take the time to meet with every prospective new member to make sure the group will be a good fit. It may require a little more effort to get into a group, but once you’re in, you’re in with a group of like-minded caregivers who commit to come back week after week to connect with you.

Our volunteer facilitators are all trained and supervised.

We have a four-day training program accredited by the New York State Department of Education, just to prepare our leaders for our groups. Leaders undergo background checks and an application process. Dozens of leaders attend clinical supervision groups every month. All of them have regular access to a licensed clinical social worker and clinical supervisor, ongoing trainings, and resources for their groups.

Our groups are emotionally focused.

Support group members share what it’s like to be a caregiver for someone with dementia, and they do so knowing that the others in the group will get it and understand it all — the exhaustion, the guilt, the anger, the humor. It’s a unique space that’s created just for caregivers. CaringKind has dozens of opportunities for you to get specialized information, education, and skills training, but the support groups are the best place to connect emotionally with others who know what you’re going through.

When you’re in a CaringKind support group, you have all of CaringKind at your fingertips.

Our support group members have regular, free access, like all New Yorkers, to our individual social work consultations, Family Caregiver Workshops, Legal and Financial seminars, educational meetings, and more. Many support group participants regularly have individual sessions with their social worker as needed when crises arise, even when they’re in the group.

Groups are available for years, throughout the course of disease progression.

Until there’s a cure for dementia, we’re here to help you give care. Some people stay in our groups for a few months to a year, others stay in for five years or more. Just as each person with dementia is unique so is each caregiver, and we want to be with you for the long haul.

Please visit out support group page here.

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