Alzheimer’s Association and AAACT Expand Support Group Offerings in Central Texas
Support groups are available for those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia
CENTRAL TEXAS – In a partnership between the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter and the Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas, a new support group in Killeen will join existing support groups in Temple, Belton, and Lampasas. These support groups, which are open to all, will expand in the future to other counties served by AAACT.
Alzheimer’s Association support groups, conducted by trained facilitators, are a safe place for people living with dementia and their care partners 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.
For those who have Alzheimer’s or another dementia diagnosis or have a family member living with the disease, life can sometimes feel overwhelming and isolating. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can present exhausting challenges that can take a significant toll on caregivers’ physical and mental health. The Alzheimer’s Association 2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report notes that caregivers can experience increased emotional stress and depression; new or exacerbated health problems; and depleted income and finances as the person with dementia’s symptoms worsen.
Support groups can give caregivers the assistance and reassurance they might need to manage stress and take time for their own much-needed care. Support groups provide a consistent and caring place for people to learn, share and gain emotional support from others who are also on the unique journey of caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Finding a support group to share stories with, seek advice from or simply have other caregivers available to listen on a regular basis can help lower stress and alleviate the health risks that dementia caregivers may face. Greater satisfaction from dementia caregiving was associated with more emotional support from family members and friends.
“I feel that it makes all the difference in the world when advice, a shoulder to lean on, a hug or even a smile comes from someone who knows the journey you are on,” says Theresa Mireles, coordinator of Community Health & Wellness Programs for AAACT. Mireles said she is thrilled that these support groups will contribute to the mission to provide support, education and means of assistance to those affected in the Central Texas area. Mireles said the groups have been “heaven-sent for those who are attending them.”
The two support groups in Temple meet at the second-floor boardroom of the Temple Public Library (100 W. Adams Ave.) on the first Friday of the month from 10-11 a.m. and at First Lutheran Church (1515 W. Adams Ave.) on the third Thursday of the month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The support group in Lampasas meets at 409 S. Pecan St. on the third Friday of every month from 10-11 a.m. The support group in Belton meets at the Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas (2180 N Main St.) on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m.
“There are 400,000 Texans living with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Faith Lane, program director of the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter. “We have more than a million caregivers in Texas who provided more than 1.7 billion hours of unpaid care last year.” Lane continued, “More than 10% of caregivers have depression, and more than 56% have chronic health conditions.”
The new support group in Killeen will have its first meeting on Feb. 14 from 2-3 p.m. at the Killeen Lions Club (1700 E. Stan Schlueter Loop) and will subsequently meet on the third Tuesday of every month. For questions regarding these support groups, please call 1.254.770.2346.
If you or someone you know is dealing with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association’s free Helpline is available 24/7 at 800.272.3900 for support and resources in more than 200 languages. For more information about the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter, visit alz.org/texascapital. For caregiving resources, visit alz.org/help-support/caregiving. Learn more about all that AAACT offers at aaact.org.
About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia®. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.