HUMBOLDT — A local resident is hoping to revitalize a support group for caregivers of those affected by Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
“Being a caregiver for Alzheimer's is one of the hardest [darn] jobs you’re going to have,” said Zygmont Kondzielewski.
It can take a long time to learn how to deal with the person you are caring for, Kondzielewski said. They may no longer have the communication skills to say what is bothering them and it is up to the caregiver to figure out what’s going on.
Dealing with the world at large, a caregiver might find their friends starting to drop off, or people looking at them strange.
“Where the caregivers group is really useful is learning how to deal with your own emotions,” Kondzielewski said.
“You have grief, sorrow, you have anger, you have fear, you have hopelessness. You feel deserted by society, sometimes your relatives and your neighbors. This is where getting together and thrashing it out with other people is useful.”
Kondzielewski said the support group is not very formal, that it’s a place where caregivers can get together, talk about what problems they are facing and learn how others solved them.
“It's freewheeling and you can listen or you can participate. You don't have to say anything personal you if you want. Or you may find somebody sympathetic in the group that you can talk to each other separately or visit separately.”
The goal of the group is to help the caregivers survive, whether it’s getting advice that can’t be shared through a book or teleconference, or if its help with navigating a health system that can seem opaque at times.
A meeting to get the support group going again is planned at The Elizabeth Retirement Community on Wednesday, Sept. 11 starting at 1 p.m. Those looking for more information can contact Kondzielewski at 306-682-4393.