Toolkit: Questions to Consider
Support Group Leader's Toolkit
Questions to Consider
What will your group consider as "young onset?"
- Chronological age? If so, what age range (under 40, under 50, under 60)?
- "Young" age of onset (regardless of current age)?
- People who are working? If so, what will happen if/when they stop working? Will they need to find another group?
- Will "young onset" be synonymous with or contingent upon stage of illness/degree of progression?
What is the purpose of the group?
- A combination of both?
When will you meet?
- Weekly, monthly? Daytime, evening?
- Who will attend? Patients only? Patients and caregivers? (Some people rely on a caregiver for transportation).
- Do you want to involve families? If there are young children, will you offer babysitting?
How will you structure the group?
- Will you have a "keynote" speaker each time?
- Will you designate specific topics/themes each time (i.e. Deep Brain Stimulation, work, relationships)?
- Do you want to make it an open forum (traditional members sharing)?
- Do you want there to be breakout groups (patients/caregivers)?
Where will you meet?
- Community Center YMCA?
- Library? Hospital?
Try to find a facility that will "host" you by donating the space.
Will your group have a social component?
- Meetings/parties at restaurants or other locations? If so, will this be regularly or occasionally?
- Will you have a summer picnic? Holiday party?
Who will facilitate the meetings?
- Professional or lay leader?
- Counseling student intern?
- Will you have a co-leader (highly recommended)?
What group policies do you need to create?
- How/when will group members be contacted? Phone, email, yahoo group?
How will you recruit?
- Through your APDA Information & Referral Center and/or Chapter?
- Notices/advertisements in PD newsletters?
- Via local paper "to-do" sections or by getting an article written as a human interest story (see Natalie's story).
For additional information about starting a young onset support group in your area, contact the APDA National Young Onset Center at 877.223.3801 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.