Overwhelmed by caregiving challenges? Caregiving can feel isolating, but you’re not alone. Today, an estimated 42 million unpaid caregivers are providing care to a family member or friend age 50 and above.

The 2020 Caregiving in the U.S. report from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP reports that the number of unpaid family caregivers continues to rise, and more family caregivers are in worse health than they were in 2015 when the report was last issued. It also confirmed that the pressures of caring for older loved ones is having an adverse impact on caregivers. The pandemic has also exacerbated the challenges family caregivers were already facing from a personal health, financial and emotional standpoint.

Luckily, there is help close by. But when you’re overwhelmed and exhausted by caregiving responsibilities, it can feel like you’re the only person dealing with so much. That’s why caregiver support groups are so helpful. They’re filled with people who are in similar situations.

Family caregivers can benefit from the support of people who can relate to their caregiving experiences. They’re filled with people who are in similar situations.

Caregiver support groups provide welcoming, confidential settings for caregivers to share their experiences and emotions, as well as answer questions and share wisdom and helpful resources. Just being able to talk with others who truly understand what you’re going through reduces stress, validates your experience, and gives connection and support. Caregivers can also learn and practice ways to manage stress as they connect with others.

Pima Council on Aging provides monthly support group listings in various Pima County locations, including Green Valley and Sahuarita. For those wishing to stay home, there are a number of virtual meetings available via Zoom. Participation can be in person, by telephone or by computer, tablet or by smartphone with a video.

These support groups are open to any adult providing care for someone 60 and older, or for someone of any age with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.

Posada Life Adult Day Services hosts a free in-person Caregiver Support Group on the first and third Thursdays of the month from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Posada Life Community Center, 780 S. Park Centre Avenue on the La Posada campus. The next scheduled in-person meeting is Thursday, Jan. 20. Silvia Valdez is the caregiver support group administrator. Caregivers can register by calling 520-393-6835 or by emailing: adultday@casagv.org

You can find additional support groups near you from Pima Council on Aging at online at pcoa.org. To reserve a space in a virtual caregiver support group or if you have any questions, contact Sam at PCOA Caregiver Support: sbandiera@pcoa.org or by calling 520-790-7573 Ext. 3405.

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