Caregiver Support Groups give the caregiver a chance to be cared for


Caregiver Support Groups give the caregiver a chance to be cared for.


By Stephanie Watson of Sierra Senior Placement Services


It can be quite a realization to find you are now not just a spouse, child or grandchild to your loved one – you are now also their caregiver.


Caring for an older adult can be a stressful, exhausting job. It can also be a lonely & isolating experience if you feel none of your friends or family understand what you are going through. You may find yourself feeling overwhelmed, sad or angry. A support group gives you a place to share these feelings.  It is a place to cry, laugh & learn you are not alone.

It can be frustrating learning your new caregiving role by trial & error. There are others who are going through similar circumstances to yours.  Why not learn from their experiences? Support group members share challenges, offer advice & encouragement, and discuss valuable resources.  You’ll find it a relief to know what you are going through is normal and that you are not the only one with occasional feelings of guilt or desperation. Attending a caregiver support group is an effective way to reduce your stress level by giving you a chance to talk to other people who truly understand the challenges you are facing.

It is important for caregivers to also take good care of themselves. Other support group members may share how they make time to care for themselves.  Meeting with others may help you gain a sense of empowerment & control, lessen depression & improve your coping skills. You may also be surprised at the support you will be able to lend to others from your own caregiving experiences!

So, what if you think a support group is not for you?  You think you are too shy or introverted?  You do not have to participate in the discussion to attend.  You can benefit just from listening to others stories, experiences & prospective.

Some caregiver support groups may have a specialty such as a Dementia, Stroke, Parkinson or Cancer Support Group.  However, most are open are open to anyone who has joined in on the journey of caring for a loved one.  Support groups are led by a facilitator and usually meet on a regular schedule-weekly or monthly on the same day, time & location. You do not have to attend regularly.  Just drop in when you can, or when you need some extra support.  Also, each support group has its own personality so don’t give up hope if the first one you try is not a good match for you.  There are many options out there & it is worth it to find the one that suits you best.

Caregiving is difficult, and every caregiver struggles with the day-to-day challenges.  A caregiver support group is a helpful place that can make your life easier, reduce your stress & improve your health.  Consider trying one this week!

Partial List of Auburn Caregiver Support Groups:

Dementia Caregiver Support Groups (open to all caregivers)

1st & 3rd Friday – 12pm to 1:30pm

Partner’s-In-Care, 500 Wall St., Ste. A, Auburn

Stephanie Watson 530/613-9611


2nd & 4th Friday – 12pm to 1:30pm

Sierra Ridge Memory Care, 3265 Blue Oaks Dr., Auburn

Colleen Magda 530/887-8600


Parkinson’s Support Lunch Group
2nd Tuesday—11:30am

Awful Annie's Café, 13460 Lincoln Way, Auburn    

Karen Hancock 530-885-0950


For more information contact:

Stephanie Watson

Sierra Senior Placement Services