Are you a family caregiver who is feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or sad—or all three? Are you struggling with the mixed emotions that come with aging?
Iona support groups offer a much-needed anchor by providing you with a space to connect with others experiencing similar situations. Come vent, share stories, and learn coping strategies.
Facilitated by Iona professionals, our support groups give participants the opportunity to:
- Find emotional comfort and moral support
- Gain practical advice
- Compare notes on resources
- Talk honestly and confidentially with others going through similar things
I hemmed and hawed and said, ‘I don’t want to go.’ But the support group taught me that you’ve got to take care of yourself. It was a place of safety. It was a place of encouragement. It was a place of hope.”
– Stephanie Reed, participated in the Iona/Alzheimer’s Association Support Group for Adult Children Caring for Parents with Memory Loss.
Descriptions for our support groups are below:
Lunchtime Support Group for Family Caregivers
Meets on the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 12 – 1:30 PM. Pre-registration required.
This support group is for spouses, partners, adult children, and others who are coping with the emotional and physical challenges of caring for an older adult.
Adult Child Thursday Evening Caregiver Support Group
Meets on the first and third Thursday of every month from 6:30-8 PM. Pre-registration required.
Being a caregiver for an older adult in your family is a very difficult job. If you are caring for an older adult with a chronic or acute illness (including dementia), you might benefit from this group. You will have the chance to share what you’re experiencing, gain support from other adult children, and connect with resources, programs, and services.
Support Group for Caregivers of Spouses/Partners with Dementia
Meets on the second and the fourth Tuesday of each month from 12:30-2 PM. Pre-registration required.
This support group for spouses/partners of individuals with dementia meets to share concerns, achievements, frustrations, and losses involved in caring for partners who are coping with dementia.
Iona/Alzheimer’s Association Support Group for Adult Children Caring for Parents with Memory Loss
Meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month from 6 – 7:30 PM. Pre-registration required.
Whether your parents are living in the area or are far away, and whether they are appreciative or resistant to your assistance, join us for mutual support, practical caregiving strategies, and ways of coping.
Memory Loss Support Group
PLEASE NOTE: Because of high demand, we offer this group at two different times. However, we ask that members only register for and attend one of the sections. Members of one section cannot attend the other.
Section 1: Meets the first Thursday of each month, 9:30-10:15 AM (people with memory loss); 10:30 AM-12:00 PM (caregivers).
Section 2: Meets the fourth Thursday of each month, 9:30-10:15 AM (people with memory loss); 10:30 AM-12:00 PM (caregivers).
Pre-registration required for both sections.
Individuals diagnosed with memory loss due to dementia (such as mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s, or vascular dementia) and their family and friends are all affected by the diagnosis and the changes that come with memory loss, but the experience is different for the diagnosed individual and those who care about them. Recognizing this, Iona offers two groups that meet simultaneously and provide support, information, and resources specific to each one’s needs. Individuals with memory loss and their care partners meet together for 20 minutes for coffee and conversation, then the group splits into separate support groups – one for individuals with memory loss and one for their care partners.
We strongly recommend that both the individual diagnosed with memory loss and their care partner attend these meetings, but this is not required.
Support Group for People Caring for Their Spouse or Partner
Meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 12:30 – 2 PM. Free. Pre-registration required.
This group is for people who provide care and support to their spouse or partner who is an older adult and has a chronic or acute illness. You’ll be able to share your experience, get support, learn caregiver tips, and connect with helpful resources.
Transitions in Aging Support Group
Meets on the first and third Thursday of each month from 12:30-2:00 PM. Pre-registration is required.
This group provides a confidential and welcoming setting for people ages 60+ to meet and share their experiences, get support from each other and Iona’s social workers, make connections with new people and build community, and discover coping strategies and helpful resources to live more fully.
Low Vision Support Group
Meets on every other Wednesday from 3 – 4:30 PM. Pre-registration required.
Individuals with low vision – those who are not completely blind – are welcome.
Pre-registration required for each group. To join a Silver Circle, contact Michael Mitchell at Whitman-Walker Health at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-939-7646.
Silver Circles, a partnership of Iona Senior Services and Whitman-Walker Health, are peer-led support groups for adults who are 60+ and identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ+). Group members are able to connect with other LGBTQ+ peers, talk about issues that impact them in a safe space, and build support to help navigate challenges. Funding for Silver Circles is provided by the DC Department of Aging and Community Living.
Women’s group: Meets the first and third Monday of every month from 5:30-6:30 PM.
Men’s group: Meets every Monday from 6:30-7:30 PM.
Men’s group: Meets every Tuesday from 2:00-3:00 PM.
Mixed gender group: Meets every Wednesday from 2:00-3:00 PM.