Best time for Support Group meeting?

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badnights
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Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by badnights »

Supposing you went to a support group, when would the best time be to attend?

I am booking a room for my first meeting, and I am not sure of the best time or day to book. Is a Saturday better?

Or is some evening right after work better? Later, after supper? Are symptoms too bad by then?

I would like to hear from as many people as possible, including people who are running or attending support groups and have opinions on what works best. Please help me out as much as you can! Thanks to everyone.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

Barrie
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by Barrie »

Glad to hear you got it sorted out, here's hoping for a great response. I had mine at 2pm on the weekend (sat--- to help church folks), anyway the # of folks that turned out was great--(over 20--just can't remember the #). I did that because I believed that evening would just be to hard to pay attention even if they did come. I have gotten good responses about the time of day. Good luck! Let me know how it works out.

Polar Bear
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by Polar Bear »

I always like a meeting to be just after work, especially in the winter months ... depending on how long the meeting would last. Going on my way home from work, not even going home first.
That is best for me, but I don't have any children who need fed, homeworks done, and possibly needing taken to clubs/hobbies/sports.

A group (not WED/RLS) that I attend has two meetings 5.30pm and 7.30pm. I like the one at 5.30 because it is much smaller, the meeting doesn't last as long and I get home and I am in for the night. The 7.30pm meeting is 4 times as big and takes too long for my liking.
So from a group leader point of view I'd think 7.30pm would be best even though it wouldn't be be my own first choice.
Good luck.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
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ViewsAskew
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by ViewsAskew »

I bet the time will greatly affect the who.

A Saturday afternoon is out for anyone with a family - at least the people I know and who I work with. They tell me that Sunday afternoon is better, as they are at soccer practice, taking to friends houses, and the like. As PB said, they prefer to come (non WED/RLS stuff) after work - on their way home. They don't want to go out again. They will sometimes come to a "lunch and learn" session - but those are phone calls, not in person.

Retired folks are going to have a completely different schedule, as will the folks that work from home or are the main child caretaker at home.

You could always choose a time and then do a survey at each meeting to see how that time is meeting their needs. And, email the survey to everyone on your mailing list, so the people who aren't coming can tell you why.

Congrats to you, BTW!!!!! I'm proud of you.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

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rthom
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by rthom »

So it seems you are likely to need to decide who your target audience is and go from there. One comment about Ann's idea---I agree with everything except if you ask those who show up they are likely to tell you that the time you are already using is best (based on the fact that they showed up), so it's likely they tell you what you already know---that they can make it to that time --doesn't help you in figuring out what the rest of your community needs. Maybe you'll need to just do a few different mtgs at different times before settling on a routine time?

badnights
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by badnights »

Thanks very much everyone! I have a few ideas now. It has taken me this long just to find a place that doesn't charge non-profit groups. The room is not available on Sundays, though.

It is very hard, pretty much impossible, to decide between 5:30 and 7:30 if it's a weekday.

I think I should arrange two meetings with the same agenda, about 1 month apart? Not sure how far apart. Maybe I will end up with two poorly attended meetings instead of one well-attended one. But the upside is that I would hopefully catch the people who can only do weekends as well as the people who can only do weekdays.

I would like to make it accessible to seniors, and there is a room in one of the senior's centers but I would have to pay for it. I can advertise there, anyway, and see what happens. I would like to emphasize in all the ads that I'm a contact as well, so people will feel free to call and say they're interested but the meeting time sucks, or whatnot.

Barrie are you in a large city? I don't think I can expect that kind of turnout. An acquaintance of mine runs a cancer support group and sometimes no one comes! But he said it's better to be more specific, eg. if the group was for prostate cancer, or colon cancer, more people would show up. I am not sure why that would be, but it gives me a bit of hope. WED is very specific.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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Barrie
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by Barrie »

I am in an area of about 125,000 people, I had a lot of folks interested from a couple of hours away and may turn out to the next one (the last was on a holiday-fathers day, so some folks were busy). I think it'll be a great idea even just for a few to do 2 different times. About the time in between, I don't know why you would need to wait unless it's something you are more comfortable with.
I also had a great deal of trouble finding a place to have it--had to do it at the public library. It took 11 months to get a place. Do you have any not-for profit housing around? If so the rooms in them are for public use, maybe that's a thought.
Good luck and let us know if you are still having trouble--someone might have another idea.

badnights
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by badnights »

I am getting a room at the library, but since I can't be ready until December, and I figure that's a bad month, I will do it in January; and I can't book the room more than 3 months in advance, so I actually don't have it booked yet. You just made me think of one other place that might have a room for free; an apartment unit run by the YMCA, I think.

There are also church meeting rooms, but I want to avoid them in case people feels there's a stigma in going to a meeting in a church basement, because that's where AA meets. The disease has a hard enough time being taken seriously.

Yes, I could do two meetings in one week. That was my original thought. It would be easier to do it all at once.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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rthom
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by rthom »

I know people that won't set foot in a church for any reason--this could be a problem too. Around here I've heard they charge for the use of their rooms now, unless you are a member--no matter what you need it for. That's now what I thought helping others was supposed to be about, but it's the new society I guess.

ViewsAskew
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by ViewsAskew »

rthom wrote:I know people that won't set foot in a church for any reason--this could be a problem too. Around here I've heard they charge for the use of their rooms now, unless you are a member--no matter what you need it for. That's now what I thought helping others was supposed to be about, but it's the new society I guess.


they gotta pay for all they do, too, including the maintenance, taxes, wages for the parish workers, and so on. I'm not saying that I like it, but money is problematic in so many ways. I do yearn for the Star Trek days - when we've moved past a monetary based society. Just not sure exactly how to get there, especially when those who make and hold all the money aren't likely to want a new system! Reinforcement is King.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

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Maria
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by Maria »

So happy to have returned at last to this wonderful forum -- and even more, to have browsed my way to this post!

My first support group meeting is in January -- scheduled after starting in September to find a meeting room. There went my lead time! But I decided just to plunge ahead and get going.

I worked with the hospital complex to secure a room. In my city it's huge ... clinics, offices, group practices, labs, and two large hospitals all under one umbrella. Since I'm in a Hospice Singing group liaising with the hospital volunteer coordinator, I decided to start there. My affiliation made no difference in the end but I did finally reach the person who helped me:

I have a free room in a central location! (Requested Sunday - no luck, but am happy with Saturday afternoon for now). You might give that a try in your town. They wanted the WED tax number -- available in the volunteer handbook.

How are you advertising the event? I'm thinking of seeding the room with family and friends, so if only a couple of folks show up they won't feel lonesome :wink:

ViewsAskew
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by ViewsAskew »

Maria, that is an amazing story - it took you that long???? Yikes. Glad you found one, though, and that it is free.

I like the idea of seeding it with people who have WED. All of my family have it, so I could easily add two from my husband's side and four from mine! Or with family members who understand it, even if they didn't have it. So - with people who speak WED :-).

Will the Foundation email its members who are in your area? I am involved on a board of a non-profit professional association - the local chapter. Our parent org will email all the international members who are within 100 miles of us when we want to market an event (local membership is separate from international in this case - which is likely similar to your situation).

Can you put up flyers in the hospital? I imagine a LOT of people would see it there. I'd also let every sleep doc, pulmonologist, family doc, neurologist in the hospital complex know. They have patients - their staff and they could be a great source of referrals. But, I'm probably writing things you're already done and you're way ahead of me.....sorry!
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Polar Bear
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by Polar Bear »

Congratulations on your dedication and perseverance. Well done :)
Betty
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Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

badnights
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by badnights »

I tried the hospital, and they were absolutely willing until they found out that members of the public at large would need access. Turns out they have nowhere that they can let the public run about. It's a pretty small hospital.

I am advertising with flyers in all the public places - the grocery stores and arenas have bulletin boards (the old-fashioned kind for paper) , and I'll hit the seniors' homes, the library, the medical clinics & hostpital, wherever I Can think of. I will also place an ad in the local paper, which I might be able to get for free if I'm willing to go small, or I might spend my own money and go a bit bigger so people notice it. Third, the radio has a community announcement time, and they will announce it for free. Other than that, I haven't really thought of it!

It sucks I'm preparing for this at xmas time, hard to get anything done. eg. I am trying to get a rubber stamp made so I can stamp the name of the group and my phone and email on every pamphlet I hand out. But the place was closed even though they said they would be open.

The Foundation will email members in the area, but there are none in my area except me!

I love the idea of seeding the room! I don't know anyone who would be appropriate, unfortunately. One friend who has gone through cancer might be good, she is naturally curious, and very kind and pleasant, though she doesn't have WED.

Ann, how would I go about informing physicians?

I am booked for Jan 18 and 23. I have to figure out something to say that I can fall back on if I get brain-freeze or if the meeting seems to be deteriorating. I will bring a laptop so we can look at this board, and the main WEDF site, and whatnot. I hope at least one person shows up.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

Maria
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Re: Best time for Support Group meeting?

Post by Maria »

What a great idea to bring your laptop! -- just one more example of how many heads finally equal a working brain.

So badnights, where did you finally land for your meeting? (I've postponed mine until March 1, but have set up the next three in the same room: August and November. I wanted to build familiarity with venue and the expectation that anyone who came would easily find their way back again.)

About informing physicians:
The advice I received suggested that the best way to get to physicians is through their "front line." The person who schedules appointments is usually vigilant about protecting the doc's time, but she may let you talk to the nurse. I plan to start with my own GP and specialists (including dentist). I've already given them a heads up at my own checkups, so it's on their radar.

Then I guess I'll pick a day or two to find some larger office suites and start knocking on doors with flyers in hand. I think it's helpful to rely on the imprimatur of the foundation. The personalized business cards they supply look professional and should inspire confidence.

I'd surely love to hear how your meeting goes. I hope you post an update here! Wishing you every success!! :thumbup:

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