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When your spouse or partner receives the diagnosis of a young onset dementia, there is a transformation into the role of a caregiver where spouses and partners face complete uncertainty in their radically altered relationship. Taking on the responsibilities of managing your household, managing all the decisions regarding your family and home, and providing constant supervision while helping your spouse or partner with even the smallest task becomes the dreaded ‘New Normal’.

With few exceptions, this issue appears to remain socially overlooked. Few support services are available to family caregivers tailored to the unique trajectory of the diagnosis of a young onset dementia. Some of these issues include: the long quest for diagnosis; difficulty managing behavioral changes; financial challenges; disclosing the diagnosis to others; anticipatory grief for the loss of a spouse or partner and all midlife expectations; difficulty juggling overwhelming life responsibilities; and challenges in knowing how to plan for the future.

These are some of the common issues that are addressed in YES! Men’s and Women’s (PALS, Pretty Awesome Ladies) separate support groups. This is a safe place to talk freely about the impact of your unique challenges while receiving feedback and encouragement from others who are experiencing a similar caregiving journey.

Support Groups

To support different demographics of care partners, YES! hosts three different support groups:

PALS Women’s Support Group

This support group is for women who are acting as primary care partners for a loved one diagnosed with young-onset-dementia (YOD). It supports the social and emotional needs of women managing a YOD diagnosis of their husband or partner and provides a platform for open conversation and resource sharing for the challenges that come up in this journey.

Men’s Support Group

This support group caters to the unique challenges that men face when they are the primary care partners for a loved one diagnosed with young-onset dementia (YOD). This Men’s Group provides a platform for open conversations and resource sharing for all the challenges that come up in this journey.

YOD Support Group

This support group, run in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Association, takes place in person in a church in Towson. It is a welcoming space, where you will be greeted with food and drink and by the people in the room who understand that the reason you show up is that you share a similar difficult path with them. This group is for affected partners and family members alike. Affected partners split off at a certain point and have their own group while the care partners have time together. This can include whole families or care partnering teams. There is a sense of intimacy and vulnerability, where you will meet a caring community who understand where you are and are willing to support and help you in any way that you need.