Angela Ford (Alzheimer Outreach Center): Support groups are helpful for a lot of people because it gives them an opportunity to share information with people who are having the same experience, share ideas about how they handled certain problems. It helps people not feel so alone in providing the care and feel like they're the only ones in that particular situation.
Son: We did not understand that our father had Alzheimer's until after he depleted all of his personal resource and had lost our family home. And when it came time to give him care, we had to first look at what options were left at that point. Because he was a veteran, that was some help. We eventually got him into a personal care home that would accept him on the basis of his Social Security. Had it not been for the Social Security, we probably would have been in a very difficult situation.
Narrator: In this support group, in which two of the members are ministers who cared for fathers with Alzheimer's, the conversation has turned to strength through spirituality.
Minister: As I remember at one point it actually had most of us on half a tank. You're doing so much and running about and making... trying to give that all day, twenty four hour care. In fact, there's a book out called 36 Hours a Day. And that's what we were trying to do, so I think that we had to get some strength from places other than the physical places, other than the normal places that you would get x-number of strength, or x-amount of strength. And the spiritual reservoir was the main reservoir for us.
Ford: The spiritual support is one of the things I hear about from a lot of families. Mrs. Stevens, you and I have talked a lot about that.
Stevens: I find that to be the main source; you get comfort. You really get an insight. Many times you are even directed.
Narrator: You can encourage caregivers to identify natural sources of support like the church, a church group, or a social network.