Support Group Facilitators
Support Group Facilitators create a safe, open environment where people share their feelings, thoughts and experiences in a combined effort to better cope with and manage the shared problems of dementia. The goal of Alzheimer's Association support groups is to provide emotional, social and/or educational support to group members. As facilitators, individuals may be responsible for general caregiver, adult children, spouse, gender-specific or language-specific groups.
- Follow expectations and recommendations of the Caregiver Support Group Facilitator Manual, including participation in initial & ongoing training and submission of all required documentation to Chapter.
- Set up, arrange and prepare the room before and after each group.
- Coordinate any speakers/presenters with local chapter staff.
- Encourage participants to provide assistance and emotional support to one another.
- Present pertinent Association materials and information to group members.
- Connect members of the community with additional Association services by proactively making referrals to Alzheimer's Association programs & free 24/7 Helpline.
- Ability to be empathic and separate personal needs from group needs.
- Strong listening and effective communication skills.
- Ability to redirect and facilitate discussion as well as fulfill the duties and responsibilities as described in the Facilitator Agreement.
- Ability to create and maintain a safe environment where participants’ thoughts and feelings are valued and group members are treated with fairness, equity and respect.
- Commitment to promote the mission and services of the Association and willingness to act as an extension of the Association.
- Experience with dementia as a family member or health care professional preferred.
- Support Group Facilitators commit to a 1-year term delivering a monthly group. Terms are renewable upon successful completion of annual goal-setting conversation with your staff partner.
- Orientation includes: online program volunteer welcome and orientation (1 hour) + self-study or in-person role training with staff partner (~4 hours).
- Support Group facilitators must observe 1 -3 groups led by a staff or mentor plus review facilitation skills with a staff partner prior to deployment in the community. This is dependent on experience of the facilitator (ever run a group or attended one).
- Background checks are required as part of the volunteer selection process.
- Comply with Alzheimer’s Association volunteer policies and procedures.
- Participate in initial training and ongoing education about Alzheimer’s, dementia and the Alzheimer's Association.
Benefits to the Volunteer:
- Perfect your active listening and group management technique.
- Serve your local community and people you care about.
- Increase your knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
- Be recognized in your community as a leader and resource for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- Build your resume and skill set.
- Join a network of other volunteers, Alzheimer's Association staff and professionals and caregivers in the aging field.