Elder Caregiver Support Groups

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  • Hi, can anyone recommend a support group (local or online) for midlife adults dealing with aging parents with significant health problems and/or dementia?

    I’m in a similar predicament as you. While I haven’t yet joined an online or in person support group yet, I’ve found the information on the Alzheimer’s Association Website helpful, they have links to support groups (it seems like meetings are online due to Covid and you will probably have better luck calling the helpline as my web search turned up nothing) and a message board. I also found The 36-hour Day a useful read. 
    It looks like Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay has a support group for a fee.

    I’m hoping other BPN community members will chime in. If not maybe we can form our own group.

    My dad recently passed from early onset Alzheimer's.  My mom was his primary caregiver and found a support group through a local university health system (not here) so maybe check if where ever they are getting care has options for caregivers.  She also found the Early Onset Alzheimer's Facebook group to be helpful. 

    While I wasn't the primary caregiver, I'm happy to discuss our experiences.  Feel free to reach out.  It is a hard, long road.

    Hi - I'm also in what I suspect is a similar predicament. My 78-year-old mother lives with me, my husband, and our son. If you end up forming your own group, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks to you both (so far) for posting and for the tips.

    My experience with Alzheimer Services of the East Bay is now old (2018?) but I really appreciated their free monthly support groups in Berkeley for those caring for family with dementia. With a group of people whose parents are at various stages, I got ideas of things to try and struggles to anticipate. It was also so helpful to vent with people who had somewhat shared experiences. I found some books helpful but now can’t remember which I liked (I know I had “36 hour day” and “learning to speak Alzheimer’s” - those and others listed here: https://brightwater-living.com/blog/best-books-on-alzheimers-and-dementia/ ). It’s really difficult. 

  • Online Zoom Caregiver Support Groups?

    (1 reply)

    My father-in-law has become a full time caregiver for his wife, and it's been an extraordinarily difficult challenge. My mother-in-law has chronic liver disease and is not always fully present mentally. Our families are helping where we can, but we would love to join a live Zoom/online support group with others dealing with similar issues. Does anyone know of any that might be helpful in our situation? They are located in Michigan if that makes a difference. Thank you.

    I would contact the following groups in Northern California for recommendations.

    This is the American Liver Foundation website so if he is not in Northern California he can go to the home page and find the resources near him. Since it will be a Zoom meeting the one you pick does not have to be local but if he needs help next year it might be nice for him to seek help in person. https://liverfoundation.org/alf-northern-california/local-resources/#sup...

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Support group on caring for handicapped elder?

Sept 2011

I have been caregiving for my handicapped parent since I was a child. In addition to now being elderly, in terrible physical shape, my mother lives alone. She is determined to live independently but this requires frequent trips to southern CA to help her. I am the only child left. She is too frail to move and I will honor that. She doesn't want any help, other than minimal. I am frequently her only phone contact each day. Are there any support groups in existence for strategies to cope with the stress and worry of caring for an elderly handicapped parent? She is still safe in her own home, has all her marbles, but I am just kind of pooped out between her and caring for my own family. Just want to listen to how others effectively manage these situations or if support forums exist. love my elder but kind of all worn out

Jewish Family & Children's Services here in the East Bay may have the kind of support groups you are looking for. You don't need to be Jewish. Judy

Are you UCB staff or faculty? http://uhs.berkeley.edu/facstaff/care/eldercare/ ''The Elder Care Program, a part of CARE Services, offers confidential, free assistance for faculty and staff who are caring for or concerned about an elder or dependent adult. The CARE Services Elder Care counselor is available to answer your questions, help set priorities, refer you to resources and support you personally.'' michael

Support for family members dealing with Altzheimer's?

Jan 2002

My neighbor is caring for her husband who is increasingly incapacitated by Altzheimer's disease. She is doing it all by herself and I worry about her. He is losing some gross motor function and she is unable to pick him up when he falls. She has to try to talk him through the process of standing up! Reading between the lines, I believe she is also anxious about the impatience she feels towards him; understandable impatience, but guilt-inducing, I'm sure. She seems to have no source of professional support or respite care. There must be an organization out there for caregivers and families of Altzheimer's patients. Can anyone help?

Family Caregiver Alliance is still a great resource for those dealing with adult onset dementia. My friend Caitlin does weekend camps for them...the patient is sent to an interesting weekend camp so that the caregiver can have a bit of time off. Caitlin is creative, experienced and caring so I'm sure her camps are a wonderful experience for those who attend! Dorothy - San Francisco Public Library

Approximately 50% of caregivers of persons with alzheimers will become clinically depressed and there are many resources to help both the caregiver and the person with the disease. One place to start is the alzheimer's association. Also, every county has services geared towards seniors, Alameda and Contra Costa counties being no exception, and has an information and referral line which can help find resources available in the community. You will likely find this number in the service number pages of your yellow pages or on the county's website on the Internet. Most bay area counties have someone, such as a social worker or nurse, that can come out and assess the family, any safety issues, and refer them to helpful resources. There are also some resources designed to help people with alzheimers continue to live at home and give their caregivers respite, such as adult day care. Thanks for your concern for your neighbors. It sounds like this family is especially needing help. The fact that he is falling is a huge safety issue for both of them. It also sounds like she is being stretched to her limit. Good luck.

To the person looking for help for an Alzheimer's caregiver - the Family Caregiver Alliance is an excellent place to start. Their website is very good, at http://www.caregiver.org . The phone number is 800-445-8106, or 415-434-3388. They run caregiver support groups, and can give lots of advice and information for caregivers. Good luck to your neighbor. Jeanine

Call Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay, 644-8292, 2320 Channing Way, Berkeley. I understand they have a day program for people with Alzheimer's. I know they have a bus to transport people to and from home. I don't know if there's a waiting list. I do wish your neighbor well. I watched my wonderful elderly neighbor nurse her husband through Parkinson's until he died. She refused all help, except occasionally to ask my husband to put him back in bed when he fell out. I think older people often have a hard time asking for or accepting help. Do keep in touch with her and give her what support you can. Louise