groups are groups of people with similar concerns who meet
to discuss these concerns with each other. Some support groups
are composed of patients with a particular disease or disorder,
who meet to share experiences and offer sympathy and advice.
Other support groups may center on family members of people
with a disease or disorder, or may include both patients and
family members. There are also support groups for individuals
who have suffered bereavement or trauma, individuals who are
survivors of a condition such as cancer or alcoholism, and
by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain
Support groups may be led by a moderator or facilitator, often
a healthcare professional. Discussion at support group meetings
may center on current treatments, resources, and exchange
of ideas about how to improve health or other aspects of daily
life. A primary benefit of support groups is interaction with
others who have experienced similar difficulties, and the
realization that you are not alone.
National and local associations devoted to particular diseases
or conditions often maintain lists of local support groups.
For example, the Alzheimer's Association will refer people
to local chapters that can help Alzheimer's patients and caregivers
find support groups (www.alz.org
or 1-800-272-3900). For a more complete list of organizations
dealing with various diseases and disorders of memory, visit
our Resources page (www.memorylossonline.com/resources)
Many support groups are also available online as Internet
"chatrooms" where individuals can share experiences;
Internet sites offer anonymity and convenience, but are often
not moderated by a healthcare professional and are often open
to anyone wishing to participate (even people who may not
have direct involvement with the disease).