Caregiver Group Guide
Caregiver support groups are very important. They provide stability and a safe place for caregivers to talk about their frustrations and their joys with daily care. Communication is at the foundation of this daily care. How to Communicate with Alzheimer’s is a perfect book for caregiver support groups. During regular meetings, the book can be a useful resource for discussion. Individual members can set goals for trying communication strategies and/or suggested activities. Results can be shared with the group to affirm and encourage these efforts. Here are some questions to initiate group discussion and educate caregivers with good communication techniques.
- How might the difficulties in your daily caregiving be related to the communication difficulties of your loved one or the person in your care?
- What difficulties in communication do you notice (pages 18-20)?
- For the person in your care, what might be their level of difficulty? Stage I, II or III?
- What types of communication behavior do they exhibit (pages 21-23)?
- What are the strengths of the person in your care?
- Name one of their strengths, how can you use it to help them interact with you?
- Name three ways you can build consistency into their life and yours.
- Name a communication strategy you can begin to implement right away.
- Name a strategy that perhaps you tend to violate in your daily care with your loved one (i.e. are you careful with your language, do you wait for a response).
- If you have already started to use a strategy, what are the positive results you have achieved so far?
- Discuss why communication opportunities are so important.
- Name three activities you might like to try with the person in your care. Discuss ways to accomplish this (i.e. do you need materials or assistance from friends and family members).
- Share with others your experiences with difficult behavior.
- Reflect and share what things escalate or diminish unwanted behavior to the best of your knowledge (trust your instincts and say what ever comes up).
- What strategies or suggestions could you try or may have tried and how well did they work? What would you do if there is another episode of an unwanted behavior?
- After reading Chapter 7, take time with each section and share your feelings about your role as a caregiver, facilitator, advocate, spouse, friend, etc.
- Do you find ways to take care of yourself? What are some of them? Can you make suggestions to others in your situation?
- What resources have you checked in this section? Which ones do you like?
- Can you add any others to the list?
- Make it a goal to try an activity using a resource page in this section (pages 112-133) at least once a week. Write down the activities that created the most interest and pleasant exchange.
- State aloud to the others in your group which activities you will be trying in the coming week.
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