Sharing experiences and learning from other people with dementia can be extremely beneficial in many positive ways. By coming together and sharing our stories, challenges, and successes with each other, we not only feel understood, but can also learn new or different ways of coping by learning from each other's experiences. It’s not only of benefit to people living with dementia but can also be a life-line for informal carers.
One of the most significant benefits of sharing experiences with others is that you can learn more about your condition and gain a better understanding of how to manage your symptoms and challenges from tips you hear from others. Dementia can be a confusing and isolating condition, but when people with dementia come together and discuss their experiences, they are better able to identify common patterns, triggers, and strategies for coping.
Learning from others with dementia can give you a sense of encouragement and hope, realising that you are not alone in your struggles and that other people have found ways to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. This can be particularly valuable for individuals who are newly diagnosed or who are feeling discouraged and frightened by their condition, and fearful of the future. It can help you to focus on the things that you can do rather than what you can no longer do.
Joining a support group is one effective way to share experiences and learn from others with dementia. Support groups provide a safe and supportive environment where participants can share their experiences, listen to others, and gain insights into their condition. Support groups can be attended in person or online and are led by trained facilitators. Participants in support groups often find that they are better able to manage their symptoms and feel less alone in their journey. Overall, sharing experiences and learning from other people with dementia can have a significant positive impact on your emotional, mental, social, and physical wellbeing.
There is a message here too for formal carers – by recognising that every person with dementia has unique life experiences which influence how their dementia affects them, and listening and learning from them you will be able to discuss and suggest ways that will help them to live as well as their circumstances allow.
Watch this space for news of AmbaCare’s new online support group coming soon via Zoom!