A family caregiver is anyone who provides unpaid care for a loved one. While there are many resources available for caregivers in the Valley, it’s challenging to find support specifically for family caregivers who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. Because of this, local nonprofit Duet: Partners In Health & Aging will be hosting an ongoing support group specifically for members of the LGBTQ+ community beginning June 6. The free-of-charge support group will meet from 2-3:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of every month at Community Church of Hope, located at 4124 North 6th Drive in Phoenix.
“Many LGBTQ+ family caregivers may have issues separately from those discussed in a regular support group and they may feel more confident speaking openly in an environment of fellow LGBTQ+ community members,” said George Burson, caregiver services coordinator for Duet and facilitator for the new support group. “Community Church of Hope is a space created specifically with the LGBTQ+ community in mind, so support group attendees may feel more at home there.”
“The LGBTQ+ community is growing and aging. Community Church of Hope is committed to partnering with Duet in their work to support those who care for our aging population,” said Patrick Stout, pastor at Community Church of Hope. “Our location and facility will provide an open, safe environment for the facilitators and caregivers to share and learn how to assist our loved ones.”
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, some issues that specifically impact older LGBTQ+ family caregivers are: how “chosen family” (versus your family of origin) responsibilities may impact caregiving, employer issues, finding supportive healthcare and service providers, experiencing mistreatment or discrimination, maintaining a sense of community, and maintaining their own well-being. Many of these same issues are faced among all family caregivers, but may prove particularly challenging for LGBTQ+ caregivers.
“Many LGBTQ+ folks may have no children, so caregiving for an aging relative almost automatically falls on them,” Burson echoes. “They also, like other caregivers, may be caregiving for a spouse or child or other loved one. This is a general support group, not disease specific, so we want to support all LGBTQ+ family caregivers.”
“This new support group for LGBTQ+ family caregivers is a no-pressure opportunity to speak and share your experience with a group of people who understand,” Burson said.
LGBTQ+ Family Caregiver Support Group Details: Being a family caregiver can be even more complicated when you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community. This new caregiver support group is designed to allow you to speak freely about your concerns and issues with others who will completely understand you. Whether you are caring for a spouse, a partner, a parent, or a friend, you are not alone. Join us for emotional support, helpful tips, and ways to better navigate this difficult caregiving journey.
Dates: First and third Thursday of every month beginning June 6
Time: 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Location: Community Church of Hope
4124 North 6th Drive, Phoenix
Enter on 6th Drive just north of Indian School Road
RSVP: Contact George at Duet: (602) 274-5022, x139, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Duet and its other offerings for family caregivers, visit duetaz.org/family-caregiver.