Caregiver, grief support groups start in October

Mt. Si Senior Center has launched two new online support groups that will begin meeting the first week of October, and both are welcoming people who are struggling with the challenges of pandemic life.

The grief support group, You Are Not Alone: Grieving During COVID, is not just for those who have lost loved ones in the past six months, but also for anyone having difficulty coping with the social isolation that we’ve been living in.

“It’s really for everyone,” says Britt Isbell, Senior Advocate at Mt. Si Senior Center. She proposed the group as part of the Center’s programming, because, she said, “I realized there’s a lot of people grieving… We’ve lost several people at the Center and we haven’t been able to have a service for them, and the people at the Senior Center haven’t been able to see each other and grieve together.”

You Are Not Alone started meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday. Oct. 1, and will continue meeting every Thursday in October.

The caregiver support group, Coming Together During COVID, was inspired by a previous caregiver workshop Isbell led, as well as the new challenges for caregivers during the long shutdown. A caregiver, Isbell says, is anyone taking care of a loved one, in person or virtually. “Maybe the patient is a senior with dementia, maybe it’s a daughter who has cancer,” she said. “A caregiver is anyone taking care of anyone.”

The group will be slightly more structured than the grief support group, as participants are encouraged to attend all four sessions.

“They’ll kind of build off one another,” Isbell explained. “We talk about the tools, and then we implement the tools so they can take care of themselves, while they’re taking care of others.”

Coming Together During COVID meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7 and continues at the same time every Wednesday in October.

Both groups will have a scheduled topic for part of the session as well as open sharing time, but the format is flexible and both groups will be guided by the members’ discussions, Isbell said.

There will be video and phone options for both groups, and both are free to participants.

To register for You Are Not Alone: Grieving During COVID, go to http://bit.ly/MSSCgrief

To register for Coming Together During COVID, go to http://bit.ly/MSSCcaregiver

For additional information, or if you have questions, contact Isbell at britti@mtsiseniorcenter.org.

[About Mt. Si Senior Center: Mt. Si Senior Center, founded in 1977, is an independent non-profit senior center, serving adults, age 50 and older in North Bend, Snoqualmie, Fall City, and the surrounding areas. The center’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for older adults in the Snoqualmie Valley by providing services and support in the areas of health and wellness, information and assistance, social and recreational opportunities, housing and transportation, so we can all live in a world in which all seniors are supported and treated with respect.]

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