Jan 29, 2012

Alzheimer's Support Groups and Google Hangout

I read about Alzheimer's caregivers all the time that say they are lonely or don't have anyone to talk too. There is a simple solution to this problem.

By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

I am sitting here wondering if there are any support groups out there built around Google Hangout.


You might be wondering, what is a Google hangout?

If you know what a hangout is, are you pressing the blue Google +1 button and sharing articles from the Alzheimer's Reading Room with your circles?

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When you open (start) a Google + account it comes with the Hangout feature built in. All you need is a webcam, microphone, and speakers (or a headset) and you are in business.

The Google Hangout feature allows you to interact with other much in the same way you do with Skype or calls on a webcam. Unlike a call, Google hangouts can be scaled up to include ten people.

Here is one of the most important features of Google Hangouts, you do not need to install any software. It comes along, for free, with a Google + account. Google + is also free.

Once you have the Google + account you can start a Hangout and invite nine other friends to join. So the service would allow for support groups to be formed with up to ten people. By the way, you can hangout with one other person, or any number of persons you select up to ten.

Ten or less is a very good size for a support group.

I read about Alzheimer's caregivers all the time that say they are lonely or don't have anyone to talk too. I read these stories on the Internet. This means that most of these "complainers" already have the one thing you do need to start a Hangout -- an Internet connection.

Would you be interested in participating in an Alzheimer's support group online using Google Hangout?

Would you be interested in moderating a Google Hangout for Alzheimer's Caregivers?

Do you think this is a good idea?

Should I consider starting a program that would help readers of the Alzheimer's Reading Room to start Hangouts?

Do you think nursing homes and memory care units should be offering Google Hangouts so that in-patients can talk to one or more of their family members on a scheduled basis?

By the way, there is a way to string together multiple hangouts if you want to go big and virtual.

Why didn't I think about this sooner?

More Insight and Advice for Caregivers      
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 3,261 articles with more than 402,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room