Support Groups

support-1Support is essential to the journey of coping with a neurodegenerative disease.  There’s no substitute for communicating with others who are on—or have been on—a similar journey.

Why Join a Group?

We encourage everyone to join a local support group and attend meetings.  Support group meetings are great places to:

  • learn from others’ experiences,
  • know what support, healthcare, home care, therapy, and other resources are available in the community,
  • gain education about disease symptoms and treatment,
  • find out about research going on in the local area,
  • create meaningful connections with others on the same journey,
  • understand that your situation may not be as dire as you think, and
  • develop coping strategies.

Those who attend the Brain Support Network meetings in San Mateo, California report their relief at finally being able to talk openly with others about their feelings and challenges.

Types of Support Groups

Some groups are for caregivers only while other groups are for anyone coping with a diagnosis. If you don’t live in an area where there is a local support group, consider forming a new group or joining a:

  • local Parkinson’s support group,
  • local Alzheimer’s support group,
  • local caregivers support group (which you may be able to find by contacting your local senior center),
  • online support group, or
  • webinar-based support group (where you can often participate by phone but need to be logged in via the web).

Find a Face-to-Face Group

Many options for in-person support groups exist.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, some face-to-face groups are meeting virtually.

Brain Support Network Support Group

BSN’s Support Group draws participants from the great San Francisco Bay Area.  Meetings, scheduled at the beginning of each calendar, are convened at intervals of 6 weeks or nine times per year. These meetings are organized for caregivers, only.  When we are able to meet in person, meetings are held in San Mateo, California, at a restaurant on Sundays at 5pm.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are meeting virtually — by video or phone.   Learn more about the BSN support group.

Other Northern / Central California Groups

There are other support groups in Northern/Central California to consider as well.  Get the details here.

Groups in Other Geographies

Unfortunately, there are only about 40 face-to-face support groups in the US and Canada for each disorder.  Find face-to-face support groups here:

* PSP groups (many of which welcome CBD and MSA families)

* MSA groups (many of which welcome PSP and CBD families)

* LBD  groups (some of which welcome Alzheimer’s caregivers)