DAI’s Peer-to-peer support groups

DAI’s peer-to-peer support groups continue to grow and evolve, and following the departure of our global manager earlier this year, we have found that setting up each group with a number of co hosts to manage their own groups to be very effective. It also takes the pressure off of expecting one person to do it, which in hindsight was too much work for one person, but it also reduces the risk of the groups ‘falling over’ if that person gets sick or resigns.

These groups are truly empowering and supportive and our updated flyer about them can be downloaded here to share: DAI Global Peer-to-Peer Support Groups_2017

If you are a member of DAI and have not joined one yet, or haven’t been for a while, we hope to see you soon. You can email us at [email protected] to join. Last week, this is what I wrote after attending one of our USA peer-to-peer support groups:

“Just finished attending our weekly Richard Taylor support group… we’ve been laughing a lot (and almost crying a couple of times) for over 90 minutes. Discussions on grief and loss that we go through, ‘threesomes’ and the Three Stooges, the recent FTD conference and many other interesting things. Congrats to Jerry Wylie for setting up a local support group in his home town too, we were all truly inspired, and I get the feeling we will all help each other to do the same. We even introduced a young genius (the son of a member) to an older one, our long time friend and DAI support group member Phil… which was amazing.”

This week, our Monday Aussie group shared a video of a young girl who can not only sing, but who plays the piano with her toes as she has no arms; you can watch the video of it at the end of this blog. If any of us felt miserable about having dementia, this certainly motivated us to ditch PLOM (Poor Little Old Me) disease at least for a few moments! We also had a support group member play his guitar and sing his own song written about dementia and stigma, and we laughed and cried, as we shared and supported each other.

Our UK group this week had a new member as well, who was truly amazed how we connect from all around the world, and is going back to advocate that his national organisation get onto zoom so that remote members can participate fully in their national advocacy work! It is always wonderful to see our members empowered to become more active and to live positively in spite of dementia.

Long live Dementia Alliance International.

Frankly, this is the only truly helpful support I have ever received.

Now, what we also need to do it to make sure our care partners, and if we have younger onset dementia, our parents and sons also are provided with the same level of support. Unfortunately, just like people diagnosed with dementia setting up DAI, they may have to do it for themselves…

Finally, the members of DAI are very sorry to hear of Mick and Sue Carmody’s recent very serious health issues, and wish them a speedy recovery, or at least that their health stabilises soon. Our thoughts and love are with them, and their family at this time.

Girl With No Arms Sings & Plays Piano With Her Feet | Romania’s Got Talent | Got Talent Global

Have a great week,

Kate Swaffer, Co-founder, Chair & CEO, Dementia Alliance International