A Brief Break for Stressed Caregivers

Megan Ray  |  July 24, 2011

Judith Bick felt alone when she was caring for her 97-year-old mother, who had just broken her hip, but then she discovered the magic of the caregiver's coffee break, according to The Bloomingdale Patch.

In an innovative move, some support groups have started springing up around the Bloomingdale, Florida, area as a complement to families providing senior care. They offer these breaks as a way for people to connect, tell their stories and relax.

"It's hard to do things for myself now," Bick told the publication. "The people at the coffee break understand what is happening in your life. There is a camaraderie here that you don't find among other people who don't share this experience."

Sometimes, speakers appear at the groups and discuss common topics such as Medicare or finances. This can be a boon for many caregivers who are trying to tend to the needs of a senior while looking after their own retirement planning as well.

The National Family Caregivers Association states that the average caregiver is in her late 40s and tending to the needs of her elderly mother. Whether or not they fit this mold, these Americans spend about 20 hours a week - or more - helping a loved one.