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Starting and Running A Caregiver Support Group

By Suzette Levy

(Page 2 of 6)

Where Should We Meet?

The number one priority usually is “Where are we going to meet?”  A good first choice is a local hospital: you can probably reserve a classroom or small auditorium for your meetings.  The education department, administration secretary, or human resources usually know whom to contact. Some groups meet at a church, synagogue, community center, YMCA, library or even a physician’s conference room. The meeting place must be easily accessible and physically as well as psychologically comfortable.  Also check with local nursing homes, adult day centers and assisted living facilities as they directly benefit from caregivers being exposed to their facilities. Also, if a loved one must accompany the caregiver, there is a place for them to go. All should be free of charge.

Helpful Hints When Looking for Space

These are some ideas to consider:

  • Is there a cost?

  • Are tables and chairs available?

  • Can I arrange them in a circle?

  • How many will the room hold?

  • Is it handicapped accessible?

  • Is the room adequately air-conditioned and/or heated?

  • Is a restroom location near the meeting room?

  • Is there a telephone available near the meeting room?

  • How far is the entrance from the meeting room?

  • Name and number of person in charge of this area?

  • Is a kitchen available?

  • Would the facility assist in advertising that your group is meeting there?

When Should We Meet?

You probably will have to poll the interested parties regarding the best time to meet - day or evening, weekday or weekend, as well as how often.  The most successful groups are well planned and plan well. It helps to have a regular pattern: the first Monday of every month or every Tuesday.

 

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