Alzheimer’s support group helps men cope with impact

By Tristan Marks

Men who take care of their wives and mothers with Alzheimer’s Disease understand the challenges the condition inflicts on their loved ones and themselves.

Fortunately, they don’t have to fight alone. These husbands and sons in West Niagara have a new, free resource in the form of the Niagara Region Alzheimer Society’s Grimsby Men’s Support & Social Group.

The group meets the second Tuesday of each month on the second floor of the Peach King Centre in Grimsby from 10-11:30 a.m. It provides a confidential space for men to share their struggles and support each other face-to-face.

“We’re just a group of men who can talk and socialize about taking care of our loved ones with Alzheimer’s,” said group organizer Len Thornton. “We’ve got an amazing group.”

Thornton first became involved with the Alzheimer Society after his wife was diagnosed with the illness. While attending a program offered by the Society’s St. Catharines, he noticed that the organization did not offer any support groups in West Niagara.

“There wasn’t anything here, so I suggested to start a Men’s Group in Grimsby,” Thornton explained.

The group held their first meeting in October 2019, and have met regularly since then. Thornton said that the group is an important pillar in the lives of the members, including himself.

“It’s at the point where I look forward to each meeting with the men,” he said. “I’m a firm believer in the group and we all get a lot out of it.”

“There’s a lot of programs out there that I want to enlighten people of, and I’m learning more and more as time goes on, myself.”

The Men’s Support & Social Group is free to attend and all meetings are confidential. Inquirers are free to drop in to see a meeting for themselves. For more information on this group and other resources offered by the Alzheimer Society, call 905-687-3914.

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