New LGBTQ Caregiver Support Group

We are excited to share that we have teamed up with Duet Partners in Health and Aging to sponsor a new Virtual LGBTQ Family Caregiver Support Group! The support group will take place the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month from 10am to 11:30am. 


Caring for a loved one can be a challenging experience, but it can be even more difficult when your loved one is part of the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ caregivers face unique challenges and experiences that can be difficult to navigate alone. That’s why a new virtual LGBTQ caregiver support group has been created to provide a safe and inclusive space for caregivers to connect with others who understand their experiences and offer support and guidance.

What is a Virtual LGBTQ Caregiver Support Group?

A virtual LGBTQ caregiver support group is a space where LGBTQ caregivers can come together to share their experiences, ask for advice, and find support from others who understand what they’re going through. The support group is conducted entirely online, through a video conferencing platform, which makes it accessible to caregivers regardless of their location or schedule.

The support group provides a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ caregivers to discuss their experiences and connect with others who are going through similar challenges. Participants are encouraged to share their stories, ask questions, and offer support to others in the group. The support group is facilitated by a trained professional who ensures that the discussions remain respectful and supportive.

Why is a LGBTQ Caregiver Support Group Needed?

Caring for an LGBTQ loved one can be a complex and challenging experience. LGBTQ caregivers often face unique challenges that can be difficult to navigate alone. These challenges can include dealing with societal stigma and discrimination, accessing appropriate healthcare services, and supporting their loved one’s gender and sexual identity.

In addition, LGBTQ caregivers may face challenges related to their own identity and experiences. For example, they may feel isolated or unsupported because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. They may also struggle to balance their caregiving responsibilities with their own personal and professional lives.

A virtual LGBTQ caregiver support group is needed to provide a safe and supportive space where caregivers can connect with others who understand their experiences and offer support and guidance. The support group can help caregivers feel less alone, build a sense of community and belonging, and provide valuable resources and information on how to navigate the challenges of caring for an LGBTQ loved one.

Benefits of a Virtual LGBTQ Caregiver Support Group

There are many benefits to participating in a virtual LGBTQ caregiver support group. These benefits include:

  1. A Safe and Supportive Space: The support group provides a safe and inclusive space where caregivers can share their experiences and find support from others who understand what they’re going through.

  2. Connection and Community: The support group helps caregivers connect with others who are going through similar experiences and build a sense of community and belonging.

  3. Information and Resources: The support group provides caregivers with valuable information and resources on how to navigate the challenges of caring for an LGBTQ loved one.

  4. Emotional Support: The support group provides emotional support to caregivers, who may be struggling with feelings of isolation, stress, or burnout.

  5. Professional Facilitation: The support group is facilitated by a trained professional who ensures that the discussions remain respectful and supportive.

  6. Accessibility: The support group is conducted entirely online, which makes it accessible to caregivers regardless of their location or schedule.

How to Join the Virtual LGBTQ Caregiver Support Group

If you’re interested in joining this virtual LGBTQ Caregiver Support group, email us at lgbtqcaregivers@gmail.com and we will provide you with the Zoom information! 

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Caregiver Burnout: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Caregivers assist a person in need with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and recreation. In addition to that, they also prepare food for the care recipient and do their shopping for them. Here’s a point to note, the level of care a person needs increases with time. The caregiver contributes more of their time and energy with each passing day. There comes a point when they begin to sense fatigue, and feel emotionally numb.

What is caregiver burnout?

This feeling of perpetual tiredness and hopelessness is known as caregiver burnout. A caregiver can go from loving the person they care for to hating them in a matter of days. This is also the phase where a caregiver may act irrationally. Hence, a doctor’s intervention is crucial.

Such a situation often arises when a person is a caregiver for a family member with a neurodegenerative disorder such as Dementia. The care recipient continues to lose their memory and cognitive abilities, and the burden of care falls on their family member, who is acting as a caregiver. 

Main causes of caregiver burnout

Newbie caregivers are often overly motivated to help their loved ones, and as a result, fail to take care of themselves in the process. If this sounds like you, take a deep breath, and pause to think about what you can do to make a positive change in your life. 

Below, I share some factors that may cause burnout in caregivers:

1. Unrealistic expectations

Caregivers can have unrealistic expectations of themselves and the person they are caring for. For instance, they may decide to juggle between their day job and caregiving without taking into account the challenges involved in it. 

Also, the person they are caring for may not get better with time. Caregivers often blame themselves when their loved one’s health continues to decline despite their efforts to nurse them back to health. 

2. Financial burden

The economic impact of providing unpaid care to an older adult in the family can be immense. State health insurance assistance programs such as Medicare and Mediclaim can indeed lower the financial burden on caregivers, but they still have to endure out-of-pocket expenses. As a consequence, they often feel uneasy and unsettled.

3. Loneliness and isolation 

Caregivers of chronically ill and physically isolated older adults are more likely to be at risk of social isolation, says a study by Weill Cornell Medicine. As the care recipient is homebound, their caregiver— who is busy taking care of them— also spends most of their time indoors. 

4. Role confusion

Role confusion can occur when an adult child of an older person is offering them unpaid care. Earlier, the parent used to care for the child, now the same parent looks to the adult child to fulfill their emotional and physiological needs. This kind of role reversal can pose a significant challenge for the caregiver. 

5. Spending no time alone

Spending all the time caring for a loved one can be satisfying in the short term, but its long-term effects can be damaging to a caregiver’s mental health. A caregiver needs to explore their interests while they offer unpaid care. Caregivers who spend all the time with the care recipient lack creativity and thoughtfulness.

Signs and symptoms 

Caregiver burnout is a severe mental health illness and should not be taken lightly. Most caregivers are too busy taking care of their loved one, and as a result, do not catch the early signs of caregiver burnout. For a quick recovery, it is important to diagnose this condition early. 

The following are signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout:

  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Lacking creativity 
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Change in sleep patterns 
  • Feeling uncertain about the future
  • Getting sick frequently
  • Avoiding social interactions with neighbors
  • Getting irritated over small things
  • Losing interest in everything

Treatment options 

1. Join a support group in your area

Every caregiver support group has a leader whose responsibility is to initiate a conversation with new joiners. The leader makes you feel welcome right away. You just have to take a couple of hours a month from your busy schedule. A good support group has a relaxed and laid-back setting where members feel comfortable sharing what they feel. 

2. Get some exercise

Regular exercise can boost the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. You will begin to feel better about yourself. You can also consider exercising with the care recipient (with the doctor’s consent). Exercising will help you recover from caregiver burnout by decreasing your overall stress levels.

3. Practice Kirtan Kriya meditation 

Practicing Kirtan Kriya, 12 minutes per day, can lower levels of depressive symptoms, says a study by UCLA geriatric psychiatrist Helen Lavretsky, Ph.D. Kirtan Kriya is a form of meditation involving singing sounds (such as Saa Taa Naa Maa) with finger movements called Mudras. This YouTube video explains it very well.

4. Start eating healthy

Busy caregivers need to eat on time and stay hydrated throughout the day. You can prepare your meals ahead of time if you are too tired to cook when you get back home from work. 

The morning time can be hectic for caregivers. Care recipients rely on their caregivers for bathroom and toileting assistance in the morning. Due to time constraints, caregivers tend to skip breakfast, which should be a key part of their morning routine. 

Have a healthy breakfast every day to stay energetic and focused throughout the day. Also, have healthy snacks available to you so you don’t go hungry in between meals. 

5. Get restful sleep

A good night’s sleep keeps you rested, focused, and alert the next day. Create a good sleep environment in your room. Make the sleeping area as dark as possible. Also, keep the temperature cool— the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. If you tend to worry too much at night, set aside time in the evening to think. 


Caring for a loved one is rewarding but a demanding role. Relentless caregiving can take a toll on your body and mind. It can leave you tired, frustrated, and full of guilt. Hence, you must give yourself a break every once in a while. 

You can ask other families to fill in for you whenever you feel like taking a break. You can also delegate the caregiving duties to a professional caregiver.  

Lastly, use the US government’s eldercare locator to find local support resources in your area. This is a free-of-cost service for family caregivers who need home-cooked meals, transportation services, training, and resources related to eldercare. 


Author bio:

I am Ryan Wilson (He/Him/His), a family caregiver and the author of alzheimerslab.com. I can help you overcome the challenges involved in informal caregiving.

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I-Ally Announces Support for LGBTQ Caregivers

Millennial family caregivers are now over ⅓ of ‘sandwich caregivers.’ When I learned this, I also learned that we are the most diverse population of multigenerational caregivers to rise to majority status. Even more reason for us to break molds, I thought. Even more reason for a paradigm shift in the way our society talks about caregiving. Of course, LGBTQ people have always been family caregivers. Nothing about that is new. What is new is maybe now folks are more inclined to be openly gay and therefore identify themselves as such to the census-taker. A huge part of what emboldens our generation is a rejection of older methods—, a rejection of being forced to choose ‘male’ or ‘female’ or ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ when none of those is correct. A fierce energy propels us to buck systems that are no longer relevant and are even harmful.

However, generations before us have fought famously too. And, they have suffered famously. Imagine not being able to even BE your loved one’s caregiver because, even though you’ve been together 30 years, you’ve no legal right to even see them in the hospital? You have no say in what happens and you get no support.

Ultimately, all I can conclude is that navigating the healthcare system is a horror show for anyone, and even worse for many. Navigating being a caregiver? Precarious, full of grief, love, the best days and the worst days. The only way we will get through any of it is to help each other, support each other, and enrich our community. That’s why I-Ally is ecstatic to be a partner and supporter and friend to LGBTQ Caregiving.


Written by Lucinda Koza 

Founder + CEO


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What is Caregiver Burnout?

Caregiver burnout—also known as caregiver stress or caregiver syndrome—was first described by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in 1974. The mental health professional worked in a clinic for drug addicts in New York and observed that most of the volunteers at the clinic had a progressive loss of energy, leading to exhaustion, symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as lack of motivation at work and aggressiveness with patients after a year of working.

This is a disorder with serious implications both physically and psychologically. Caregivers are at risk of experiencing episodes of stress of varying intensity. The stress of caregivers is higher than that of other professions, due to the fact that they are largely faced with pain and human suffering on a daily basis.

To prevent caregiver burnout before it’s too late, here are some symptoms to watch out for:

  • Physical symptoms such as tiredness or muscle aches
  • Emotional lability or sudden mood swings
  • Sleep problems or weight gain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Isolation
  • Frustration
  • Cognitive difficulties: memory problems, attention, etc.

Caregivers, whether family members or professionals, play the role of primary caregiver for a dependent person, and are usually given the responsibility of coping with whatever the situation requires. This is particularly true among Hispanic women, who are often the heart of their homes. In a cultural context, Latinas grow up being cared for by women, and grow up to fulfill that role with subsequent generations.

Therefore, it is necessary to recognize the need to watch over caregivers, regardless of their sex, so that they can enjoy an optimal state of health while carrying out their work. It’s important that they are able to develop in other areas of their lives outside of caregiving. NHCOA directs all its efforts to improve the quality of life of older adults, their families, and caregivers, and through spaces such as our seminar “Caring for the Caregiver”, we seek to create awareness about the importance of caring for all the people who are dedicated to this noble and important work, as well as giving them the tools so that they can carry out this work without sacrificing their mental and physical health.


Source: https://nhcoa.org/what-is-caregiver-burnout/

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