Shreveport – – A free online caregiver support group is now available by Zoom for those struggling with the care of an Alzheimer’s or dementia individual. Host of this monthly group is The Bridge Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center. Facilitator of the group is Laura Gauthier, program director. The first online meeting is Wednesday, July 19 from 1:00 – 2:00pm.
“We are pleased to offer this opportunity for caregivers,” stated Paulette Freeman, executive director for The Bridge. “We realize how difficult it is for caregivers to leave their home and the person they’re caring for with dementia. This is one way they can participate in a group setting with others who have similar challenges.”
Listed are some tips for joining an online support group. Sometimes people may feel nervous about joining a group, which is completely normal. It’s good to know that in most groups, it’s more than okay for participants just to join and listen. If you do not feel ready or interested in opening up about your personal struggles, that is just fine. A support group, especially a support group for your mental health, is supposed to be a helpful experience where you can hear from others dealing with similar situations, about their own various challenges and solutions. Like most experiences, it’s a learning opportunity.
As an added benefit, anyone who needs to talk outside this group can ask for time after the meeting is over with Gauthier who is a licensed professional counselor and a certified dementia practitioner. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. She obtained a master of arts in clinical mental health from Louisiana Tech University.
The online support group will meet every third Thursday of the month at 1:00 pm. Only those who have pre-registered for the online support group for each occurrence will be allowed to participate in the group. To register, contact Laura Gauthier at The Bridge office at 318-656-4800.
The Bridge Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center provides education, resources, and support services for those in our community diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias, as well as to their family members and caregivers and to promote awareness. The organization was created due to the lack of information and support for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Programs are now available to benefit clients by providing a comprehensive support system with the needed education, local resources, and services. The organization’s outreach extends to the 9 parishes in Northwest Louisiana.
The Bridge Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All funds raised by the organization are used to provide services in Northwest Louisiana community. Their vision is to create a community where no one affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia makes the journey alone. For more information on their services, call 318-656-4800 or visit www.alzbridge.org.