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Mar 25 2014

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Support Groups for Caregivers

When you’re caring for an elder loved one, it’s easy to become isolated and feel that you’re all alone. If only you had someone to talk to who really understood what you’re going through! And wouldn’t it be great to swap ideas and share information about dealing with your loved one’s condition and the challenges of caregiving? For many, a caregiver support group is the answer.

Support groups offer a safe haven for sharing feelings, a place to make new friends, a source for information about resources, treat-
ments, and coping mechanisms, and help in dealing with family dynamics and other challenges. Each group has a unique personality, but
any well-run group provides a caring atmosphere and trust between members, a clear structure and purpose, and agreement on confidentiality.

There are numerous caregiver support groups that meet in Boulder County. Most are general groups for any caregiver of an older relative, partner, or friend; several are specifically for caregivers of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Each is facilitated by a counselor, peer counselor, or other professional.

In addition, voluntary health agencies (i.e., ALS Association, Parkinson’s Association) host support groups for patients and their
caregivers. To learn if a disease Caregiving specific group is offered in your area, call the agency or check its website. Online support groups also are an option for caregivers who prefer to connect from home.

The newest caregiver support group, sponsored by Boulder County Area Agency on Aging, is for Boulder County caregivers of older relatives, partners, or friends. It meets on the first Thursday of each month, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., at Calvary Church, 3245 Kalmia Avenue,
in Boulder. For more information about this group, or for a list of all caregiver support groups, please contact me at the number or
email below.

Emily Cooper is Information and Assistance Specialist for Caregiver Programs with B.C. Area Agency on Aging. For more information, call
303-678-6116 or contact < ahref=”mailto:InfoCaregiver@bouldercounty.org”Emily’s Email.

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