Dexter United Methodist Offers Aging Support Group

More than 29 percent of the U.S. population, 65 million people, provide care for a family member or friend during any given year according to the National

Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP in a report they published in November of 2009. Trends show more and more of us are getting involved.

In May 2015, Pew Research Center published a survey on the growing trend of caring specifically for aging parents. Even though most older adults are living independently and are satisfied with their lives, many still report that they need help dealing with the challenges of getting older. And for those of us in the position of providing assistance for our parents, Julie Boyd, M.A., L.P.C., of Huron Counseling Services in Dexter is offering help.

Click here for more information on being a caregiver for aging parents.

The Pew Research Center survey shows that families themselves are taking the lead in providing care for aging parents who may need help in handling their affairs or personal care. Compared to other countries, relatively few adults surveyed in the U.S. say their parents rely on paid help for primary care. Predictably, family involvement increases with age.

— 25% of U.S. adults help family members age 65+

— 33% of U.S. adults help family members age 75+

Caregiving can range from activities such as running errands, housework and home repairs to more intensive help such as tending to medical needs, personal care and financial assistance. Survey takers reported, that while caring for aging parents is highly rewarding, it can also be very stressful.

From her professional experience as well as personal life, Boyd is well aware of the growing need of support for those who have taken responsibility for an aging family member. She is offering a six-week support group for those involved with care assistance for family members.

“I began offering the Coping With Aging Parent Issues group several years ago. I felt the urge to offer this, not only as a person in the helping profession, but also as someone who has experienced this first-hand.”

In her work, Boyd has found caregivers tend to be thrust into the position with little warning and no training. It’s a dynamic that can often foster conflicting emotions and confusion. Weekly topics for the group will include; coping with emotions, family dynamics, legal and financial concerns with much of the encouragement coming from peer support within the group.

“A great benefit in groups is peer to peer resource sharing, of which we will do, but additionally, I have compiled a bibliography of helpful books, websites, and pamphlets,” she explains. Depending on group interest, outside speakers may present at some of the sessions.

Intentionally designed to be a faith-based, “safe place to talk about your related life situations” respectful of all beliefs, Boyd has found in her 17 years of counseling experience “that faith is a powerful portal to hope.” All are welcome to attend.

If you would like more information about Coping With Aging Parents Issues Support Group, you can contact Julie Boyd at her office at Huron Counseling Services, 8005 Main Street #6, Dexter, MI 48130. (734)426-5271.

When: Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 pm, March 7 – April 11 (six weeks)
Where: Room 206, Dexter United Methodist Church (7643 W. Huron River Dr., Dexter, 48130)
Cost: $75

You do not have to register ahead of time, but if you would like to make sure you get a spot contact Julie Boyd at her office phone number 734-426-5271.

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