The Delta Caregivers' Network is beginning a new series at the end of the month that provides education and support.
The series, with weekly meetings at Delta Hospice in Ladner, is for family caregivers, those who are unpaid and looking after a friend or family member.
"We talk a lot about the stress of being a caregiver," said Laurie Pettman, one of three facilitators with the volunteer organization.
She said people often take on caregiver duties while not realizing they've become one. They can become overwhelmed and exhausted and don't know where to get help.
The education portion of the series will cover topics like communication techniques, role and lifestyle changes, accessing and using community resources, and legal and financial issues.
Pettman said everything is confidential in the group.
"They're welcome to just come and sit and listen if they're not comfortable.
Some people are sort of intimidated by the idea of a group so we try and make it as comfortable as possible."
Ladner's Sheila Lister first came to a Delta Caregivers' Network session in 2010.
"It's been an absolute life saver for me," she said.
Lister, who's taking care of her husband, said the meetings provided plenty of information regarding contacts and things you need to know, particularly legal items.
"You're a caregiver and you're swamped with day-to-day things, (so) you don't always take the time to think about items like that. So I found out most of the things I needed to do through caregivers."
Like Lister, Boundary Bay's Nick Janzen continues to attend ongoing caregivers meetings.
"It's good to know that you're not alone," he said.
Janzen, who's providing care for his wife, said he looks forward to the meetings.
"It's sort of a relief valve in a way. You don't even have to say anything but just to be with the same kind of people."
The series starts Thursday, Jan. 31 from 1 to 3 p.m. and runs once a week for eight weeks. The cost is $25. To register, call Pettman at 604-943-3921 or the Centre for Supportive Care at 604-948-0660.
The network also offers ongoing monthly support group meetings.
© Copyright 2013