September 30, 2015
Last week we began a series of posts in which we share ideas from our aphasia community related to support groups.
Our first post contained tips on how to start a support group for people with Aphasia, provided by Eileen Hunsaker, an Assistant Professor and Aphasia Center Coordinator at MGH Institute of Health Professions. You can also find out more about how to start your own Aphasia Community Group from our NAA guide.
In this post we share more tips from Eileen Hunsaker, but this time she focuses on how your support group can help caregivers. Many people write to us with questions about how to deal with the day-to-day challenges that aphasia poses on them as caregivers. The aphasia community clearly needs more support groups! So read on!
If you would like to share your own tips on topics related to support groups, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to include them in future posts.
Including caregivers in your support community
1. Get caregivers talking to each other – they are each other’s best support
2. Start by introducing them to one another. You can do that, for example, in the client waiting room, or on outings
3. When this becomes appropriate, provide them with a group of their own (without individuals with aphasia, this one is all about caregivers!)
4. Get caregivers involved in planning outings, community fundraisers, aphasia/stroke advocacy programs
5. Give them “assignments” to complete to help with outings
6. Involve caregivers in sessions where they can be actively participating or passively watching
7. Invite other professionals to attend sessions – social workers, healthcare proxies, personal care attendants
8. Provide guest speakers
This helpful information was kindly provided by:
Eileen Hunsaker, MS CCC SLP, CBIS
Assistant Professor; Aphasia Center Coordinator
MGH Institute of Health Professions
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Department of Communication Disorders
36 1st Ave, Charlestown Navy Yard
Boston, MA 02129