Caring for a loved one often proves to be a rewarding task, but it can also be a taxing one. The roles associated with being responsible for another person can take a toll on a person, as all their time and effort is put into the other person’s needs. Support groups are made for this reason. Houston offers a number of support groups and services to caregivers, so their needs get taken care of as well. This is extremely important for their mental health.
The Family Caregiver Support Network is found through the Houston Department of Health and Human Services. This network offers important resources to those taking care of a loved one, whether due to age or illness. Through this network, caregivers can receive numerous services, including: • Support Coordination - planning, arranging, and coordinating follow-up services
• Caregiver Education - classes on caregiving and how to manage feelings about the job
• Training and Workshops - seminars and focus groups that offer valuable resources
• Support Groups - group counseling sessions
Each county typically has their own Area Agency on Aging. For citizens in Houston, it is the Harris County Area Agency on Aging. This agency offers some of the best area resources for both senior citizens and the caregivers who handle their care, finances, or both. Individuals interested in finding support groups can contact this agency to find out where and when these groups are located. They can be reached at (1-877) 393-1090.
Texas Southern University has a Center on Aging. It works to provide information so students and members of the community are made aware of the effects of aging, and the many health issues that can develop. There are support groups offered through the institution. Staff also encourages student and community involvement in Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and Family Caregivers Month. November is the National Alzheimer’s Disease and Awareness Month. TSU holds a walk to end Alzheimer’s in honor of it. People interested in registering for the walk, or learning about area support groups, can contact the school at (713) 313-7804.
The Greater Houston area offers a Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. This alliance offers a wide range of support group options, ranging from general support to groups meant for teenagers, and even caregivers responsible for taking care of someone with an illness. Many times, caregivers struggle with depression themselves, as they are struggling to maintain balance between their own lives and taking care of someone else’s. As the responsibility and demands take their toll, depression can set in. All support groups last roughly one and a half hours. Caregivers and family members over the age of 18 can attend the groups. The Galleria Caregiver Group is one option. The second is Clear Lake Caregiver. People hoping to attend either group can contact DBSA of Houston at (713) 600-1131 to find out the times and dates.
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