When we think of the word “caregiver,” we tend to picture a middle-aged woman caring for her parents or an older woman caring for her spouse. Unfortunately, this bias shows up in programming for caregivers. According to a 2018 study by the AARP, one in four caregivers is a Millennial, yet most support groups, social programs, and educational opportunities fall during the typical workday. This can leave younger caregivers feeling isolated.
One of the biggest challenges for younger caregivers is that, even if they can attend something during the day, they feel out of place in traditional support groups due to their age. This begs the question, what resources are available for young adults who balance caregiving, working, and establishing their own lives?
- Area Agency on Aging 1-B– Has a variety of online programs, some of which are in the evening. Visit their website for more information. General caregiving information.
- Turner Senior Wellness Program– Caring For Aging Relatives Support Group (meets second Wednesday of the month from 6:00-8:00pm). Call (734) 764-2556 for Zoom link.
- Work-Life Resource Center (U of M)- Can suggest community resources. Program is open to U of M students, staff, and alumni.
- ALZ Connected Message Boards (Alzheimer’s Association)
- Statewide Dial-In Caregiver Support Group (Alzheimer’s Association)
- The Caregiver Space Community– Private Facebook group aimed at caregiving in general and finding support.
- Washtenaw County Virtual Caregiver Support Group (Alzheimer’s Association)
- Washtenaw Family Caregiver Network– Public Facebook group.
- Young Adult Caregivers– Public Facebook group. Last updated in 2018.
- Young Caregivers Community – Private Facebook group. Aimed at people 35 and under.
A note on public vs. Private Facebooks groups. Any post you make in a public group will be visible to your Facebook friends and anyone who views the group. Posts made in a private Facebook group are visible ONLY to group members.
- Caregiver Support Line (Veteran’s Administration): (855) 260-3274
- Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline: (800) 272-3900
Questions to ask yourself before joining a support group
- Do you want a condition-specific group (e.g., for Dementia) or a general caregiving group?
- Do you want a peer-led group (where the group is led by someone who has been a caregiver), or a group led by a facilitator?
- Does the group have a confidentiality agreement? What does it look like?
- For more question and considerations before joining a group, read this helpful article by AARP.