During this pandemic it’s especially important that we lift up our caregivers who are currently making daily sacrifices. Our friends at Florida Blue Medicare have put together the below information and resources for caregivers to find the necessary support.
Taking full-time care of a loved is an important job, and it can be a very rewarding one, too. But the around-the-clock rigors of being a caregiver can sometimes leave you feeling exhausted, lonely and even sad. You may not have people in your life who understand the daily challenges you face or who you can talk to candidly.
A support group for caregivers can help you find people to talk to who are in the same situation and understand what you are going through without judgment. Depending on your situation, you may even find a support group for caregivers who take care of someone with the exact same condition as your loved one.
If you don’t feel like you have the time or resources to leave your loved one to attend an in-person meeting, there are other options such as online and telephone support groups. Here are just a few of the benefits you might gain from joining a support group:
- You may feel less lonely and isolated. With a support group, you will find an audience who understands what it’s like to be a caregiver and may also be experiencing some of the same complicated feelings as you.
- You may feel less depressed and anxious.
- You may get advice and practical tips from other caregivers who have been in your shoes.
- You may feel refreshed and recharged.
- Also, the better you feel and cope with your role as a caregiver, the longer you may be able to keep your loved one in home care.
If you are taking care of someone with a condition such as cancer or dementia, you may be able to find a support for people who are also caring for someone with one of these conditions. Here are some resources you can use to find these support groups:
The Alzheimer’s Association offers support groups for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. You can search here for in-person support groups near you or join an online support group. Note: You can also call Florida’s Elder Helpline at 1-800-963-5337 to find an Alzheimer’s support group or respite program near you.
The American Cancer Society offers many programs and services to help people living with cancer, as well as their families and caregivers. To find what programs are available to help caregivers, click the above link, enter your zip code and select “Support: Family and Caregiver” from the dropdown list of available programs. For more resources and tips for caring for someone with cancer, click here.
Where can you find a support group near you?
Support Group Resources by Region
We have listed some links below to help you find support groups and other local resources in your area.
Northeast Florida (Jacksonville, St. Augustine areas)
UF Health Jacksonville (Support Groups and Events)
Jacksonville Senior Services (Independent Living Program/Respite Care)
ElderSource (Serving Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns and Volusia counties)
Florida Hospital (Support Group in Volusia County)
Northwest Florida (Pensacola, Tallahassee areas)
Area Agency on Aging (Serving Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties)
Northwest Florida Area Agency on Aging (Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rose and Walton counties)
Council on Aging of West Florida (Caregiver Support)
North Central Florida (Gainesville, Ocala areas)
Elder Options (Serving Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee and Union counties)
UF Health (Support groups and classes)
Hospice of Marion County (Support groups, respite care and other services)
Central Florida (Orlando area)
Senior Resource Alliance (Serving Brevard, Orange, Osceola and Seminole)
Central West Florida (Tampa, St. Petersburg area)
Senior Connection Center (Serving Hardee, Highlands, Hillsbrough, Manatee and Polk Counties) On this page, click on “Caregiver Support and Services.”
USF Health (Support groups)
Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas (Serving Pasco and Pinellas counties)
Southwest (Sarasota, Fort Myers areas)
Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (Serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota counties)
Caregivers’ Comfort Creations (Support groups and events)
Your Aging & Disability Resource Center (Serving Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties)
Alliance for Aging (Serving Miami-Dade and Monroe counties)
MorseLife Health System (Caregiver support groups)
University of Miami Health System (Caregiver support groups)
Looking for resources to help you and your loved one? On this page, you can click on your county of residence to find a list of services to help.
Also, don’t forget Florida Blue’s page devoted just to caregivers like you at floridablue.com/caregiver.