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3:55 AM Tue, Oct. 16th

Free support and classes available for caregivers

There is a saying: “You can’t pour from an empty pitcher.” People who are caregivers for others put their own health at risk and are encouraged to take steps to develop resiliency and avoid burnout.

Free support groups for caregivers in Mayer, Paulden and Ash Fork have been established and are available at no cost. These groups are based in practical topics and are provided in a 10-week class format, rather than being open-ended. The groups are for caregivers of any type; grandparents raising kids, a mom caring for her adult son with a mental health condition, a husband who cares for his wife with dementia.

While caregiving is stressful no matter where one lives, data shows that caregivers in rural areas on average provide 41 hours of caregiving per week for their loved ones, versus 29 hours for suburban and urban caregivers — and the higher number of hours devoted to caregiving, the higher the likelihood of burnout.

Current groups are: Paulden: 10 a.m. first and third Tuesdays of the month, at the Paulden Food Bank, 195 E. Aspen. Mayer: 1 p.m. every Tuesday, at the Mayer Meals on Wheels, 10051 Miami St. Ash Fork: 2 p.m., first and third Thursday, at the Ash Fork Library, 450 Lewis Ave.

A group also is forming for Prescott Valley soon. If you would like to know more, please call West Yavapai Guidance Clinic’s Kathy Gorospe, one of the group facilitators, at 928-445-5211, ext. 2315. No clinic enrollment is needed.