When someone you or someone you love is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, life as you know it changes. Whether you are living with the disease, or provide daily caregiving, help make decisions, or are a concerned friend of a person with the disease- a new resource on Maui is here to help.
Alzheimer's Association Aloha Chapter and Maui Memorial Medical Center have started monthly support groups for not only those who are living with Alzheimer's ora related dementia but also for their caregivers.
Nearly 16 million people in the United States are caring for a loved one with the disease, a journey that brings a series of difficult emotions and challenges. Support groups create a safe, confidential environment for participants to build support systems and share experiences. The meetings will also provide educational materials and resources, in addition to helping participants develop coping mechanisms, and learn from people who are in the same situation as they are.
"When we're caring for someone with dementia, it's important to connect with others who can relate," stated Dr. Cordia Wan, Pacific Permanente Group Neurohospitalist at Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC). "I want those taking care of our dementia patients to know and remember that they also need to be taken care of, that there are others experiencing their same difficulties, and that they're not alone."
Dr. Wan sees dementia patients and makes treatment plans for their families on a regular basis at MMMC. But it is her personal experience with the disease and her father-in-law that inspired her to partner with the Alzheimer's Association Aloha Chapter to begin a support group.
"My mother-in-law is his caretaker, and she took it upon herself to join a support group in their neighborhood," stated Dr. Wan. "Her support group gives her so much more than what I or my husband can provide her with, despite our best efforts. I want our Maui community to have this same support."
Alzheimer's and Dementia Support Groups on Maui
With limited resources for dementia and Alzheimer's disease on island, it is family caregivers that make the biggest difference in a loved one's quality of life with the disease. Seeking help and support throughout this journey is not just a luxury, it is a necessity. The support group will emphasize the importance of maintaining physical and mental health for caregivers, as well as provide practical feedback to help resolve problems in caregiving responsibilities.
The support groups are open to anyone whose life is affected by Alzheimer's disease or related dementia.
Upcoming Support Groups at Maui Memorial Medical Center
2019 Early Stage Support Group
Every other Wednesday*
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Location: Nutrition Education Room in Cafeteria (Meet in MMMC lobby)
Lunch Outside- May 8
Card Games- May 22
Arts and Crafts- June 5
Puzzles- June 19
2019 Alzheimer's and Dementia Support Group
Third Tuesday of each Month*
5:30 to 7 p.m.
Location: Nutrition Education Room in Cafeteria
*Please call to confirm dates/times prior to attending.