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Strategies exist for dementia caregivers

HOISINGTON — The Dementia Caregivers Support Group in Hoisington exists to help caregivers take a proactive approach, said facilitators Michelle Niedens and Macy Ingham.

“When we or someone we love begin to experience cognitive changes, it is important to address early and to approach from a proactive standpoint,” Niedens said. “That includes wellness practices, understanding and addressing the emotional impact, including depression, learning compensatory skills and expanding the team.” 

Participation in a dementia-specific caregiver support group is part of that proactive approach. Key elements include: 

• Sharing of information about the disease and community resources

• Understanding changes in the person living with a dementia

• Decreasing sense of being alone as around others who go through what you do

• Receiving emotional support

• Learning new tips and strategies to best support the person living with a dementia

The Hoisington support group began in February 2020. It was started as a joint effort of the Clara Barton Family Practice Clinic and the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center to provide care partners of individuals with dementia the opportunity for mutual support and collective education as they navigate these diseases.

“Care partners often need to know if something they are experiencing is normal for the disease, what to expect, new perspectives, how others have handled the varying changes as well as to process their own feelings,” Niedens said. “Care partners attending support groups know that people in the room understand in a way others who are not going through this cannot. Support groups are composed of people who meet, share information, and provide support to one another.” 

The group meets from 5:30-7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month at Hoisington Public Library, 169 S. Walnut St. To learn more about the support group or for answers to questions contact Macy Ingham, R.N., BSN, at Clara Barton Medical Clinic by email,, or phone, 620-292-0830, or Michelle Niedens, L.S.C.S.W., director, Cognitive Care Network KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, by email,, or phone, 913-945-7310.