The Caregiver journey is something we are so passionate about here at Sunways. We see first-hand what the stress can do. Usually Caregivers are spouses, partners, family members, friends or neighbors. Approximately 34.5 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult 50 or older in the past 12 months, and around 15.7 million adult family caregivers care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Being a Caregiver is extremely taxing physically, emotionally and mentally. “Caregiver Burnout” is a term used to illustrate the strain and burden they often bear. Burnout can cause changes in attitude, from positive and upbeat to negative or apathetic, as well as physical changes in levels of energy or lead to illness or disease.
As a Caregiver, it’s extremely important to seek out support to help avoid burnout. Having a safe place where you can vent, exchange ideas and get a feeling that you aren’t alone is imperative to your wellbeing. Everyone is different in the format and set-up that suits them best, and you have a few different options:
1. In-Person Support Groups
We are lucky to have a lot of options for Caregiver Support groups here is Sarasota/Manatee. No matter where you live, you can usually find them at hospitals and churches. In-person groups are great because you are able to create strong relationships with the others in the group and feel a sense of community and security, that’s hard to get otherwise. Usually there will be a group moderator to keep discussion going, and each participant has a chance to discuss their highs and lows. Some of our favorites held locally are:
A. JFCS Seniors Caregiver Support: Wednesday 10:30-12, Fridays 10:30-12
@ Fruitville Campus
B. Friendship Centers Caregiver Support Group: Thursdays 10-11:30 @ Sarasota Campus
C. Dementia Caregiving Support Group: Every 3rd Friday of the month 11-12:30
@ Parkinson Place
D. Neuro Challenge & JFCS Parkinson’s Disease Caregiver Support: 3rd Thursday of the month
1-2pm @ JFCS Fruitville Campus
2. Online Support Groups
Sometimes getting to an in-person support group isn’t possible, or a bit too invasive if you are a very private person. There are some great online support group options as well. These can be formatted in a lot of different ways: there are private Facebook groups where only members can see posts/comments, blogs that allow open comments/discussions, online forums and even email based discussion groups. Below are a few well known ones, but check out Google to find one that best suites you:
A. Family Caregiver Alliance online support group:
B. Memory People : this is a private Facebook group
C. Sandwich Generation : this is a private Facebook group
D. Reddit Caregiver Support forum : https://www.reddit.com/r/CaregiverSupport/
If you are a struggling Caregiver. please reach out to us so we can help you get the support and resources you need!
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Elli is the President of Sunways and loves spending time outside with her family, and is passionate about cooking and holistic health.