San Diego County Caregiver Support Groups: A Comprehensive List

Has anyone asked you what you’re going through lately? Has anyone thanked you for all you’re doing? Have you had a break? If you’re a family caregiver, maybe not. But the good news is, you’re certainly not alone. There are 40 million family caregivers in the U.S. who are also juggling responsibilities and wrestling with questions and doubts.

And thousands of these people come together as support groups in churches, community centers, and senior centers to learn from and lean on one another every day.

As a caregiver, you want to do right by your family and loved ones, but you also realize that becoming overwhelmed, run down, and isolated is a very real risk. You may sometimes worry that you’re not doing enough or feel inadequate to the task. Other times your heart overflows with love from a moment of connection with your loved one.

Caregiver support groups exist to bring you together with the people in your community who are experiencing the same frustrations, joys, and fears that you go through daily.

Some focus on education and offering tips and resources, others on providing emotional support and a listening ear. What they all have in common is the sense of mutual support and camaraderie that come from connecting with others who are walking the same path as you.

Benefits of Joining A Caregiver Support Group

There are 40 million family caregivers in the U.S. who are also juggling responsibilities and wrestling with questions and doubts.

Get Answers
Maybe your questions are financial, or legal, or logistical – odds are, in a room full of others who are in the same situation, someone will either have an answer from their own experience or will know where to find it. The information and knowledge based on personal experiences that you’ll find in a support group can provide a compass to guide and empower you.

Take Some Time to Focus on You
We can’t be at our best all the time, and without breaks, clear thinking and decision making often go right out the window. Meeting on a routine basis with a caring group of people is an effective way to schedule breaks into your week. You’ll be a better caregiver for it, and you’ll have a better outlook on the days ahead.

Enjoy an Emotional Release
Some people avoid caregiver groups because they worry about triggering difficult emotions or being immersed in problems. But a support group is a safe place to deal with emotions in a positive way with people who are likely to share those feelings.

Feel a Sense of Community
We can all use a reminder that we’re not going through our joys and struggles alone. Groups allow you to form healthy, supportive relationships grounded in the awareness and understanding of what is happening in your life. Having people to check in with, while also sharing in their victories and journeys, can be both centering and empowering for you.

Caregiver support groups exist to bring you together with the people in your community who are experiencing the same frustrations, joys, and fears that you go through daily.

Plan Ahead For Your First Meeting

Reach Out

Times and schedules will sometimes change, so be sure to contact the group you’ve chosen to attend ahead of time. Use the contact information below to get in touch with the group leader. Verify the details, but also ask any questions of the group leader that will help you feel comfortable attending for the first time.

Feel free to ask about the format of the group and what type of participation will be expected on your first visit. Support groups are a place of refuge for all, so there are no mistakes. Even so, getting advance information about the group can help set your mind at ease.

Come Prepared

Spend just a few minutes thinking about what you want to get out of the meetings, and when possible, take the time to write down any questions or specific issues you’ll want to ask. Just the exercise of writing your thoughts down will make it easier to open up to others.
Plan to share as much or as little information about your personal experience as you’re comfortable with. If it’s hard for you to reach out for help, know that just being there is a courageous step!

Local Caregiver Support Groups in San Diego County

Below you’ll find the contact details for local caregiver support groups in the San Diego area. As mentioned before, be sure to call ahead and verify the details before visiting. Many of the wonderful support groups in the San Diego area have been running for decades and members of these groups often describe them as a lifesaver.

North Coastal

San Luis Rey Valley United Methodist Church
5570 Old Ranch Rd., Oceanside, 92057
Phone: 858-966-3303

This warm and welcoming church family has offered the support group for many years. They’re a compassionate and service-oriented congregation who reach out to serve the local community. Working together with Alzheimer’s San Diego, they provide this group for members and non-members.

ActivCare at Bressi Ranch
6255 Nygaard St., Carlsbad, 92009
Phone: 858-966-3303

The support group at ActivCare offers practical tips and wonderful resources on caring for your loved one while caring for yourself. This facility even offers short-term respite stays when you need a longer break. They also work in partnership with Alzheimer’s San Diego.

George G. Alzheimer’s Centers, Inc.
335 Saxony Rd., Encinitas, 92024
Phone: 760-635-1895

This group meets every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. Facilitator, Sheila Argeanton explains, “The group is for any caregiver who has someone with any memory impairment. They can be still at home or in a facility. Should a caregiver need someone to care for their loved one so they can attend the Support Group, the Glenner Center offers free adult daycare service for the two hours of Support Group.” Call ahead to schedule the free day care service.

North Inland

Oakmont of Escondido Hills
3012 Bear Valley Pkwy S., Escondido, 92025
Phone: 858-966-3303

Oakmont also partners with Alzheimer’s San Diego to offer this support group for caregivers of those with memory loss related disease. They focus on, “strategies to help you learn more about the disease and stress relief techniques.”

San Marcos
San Marcos Senior Activity Center
111 Richmar Ave., San Marcos, 92069
Phone: 760-212-1224

The facilitator for this weekly group is Lynne Smith. They meet every Tuesday at the Senior Center from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. where members discuss common issues and concerns and offer guidance and support. The San Marcos Senior Activity Center’s goal is “to help foster social connection, vibrant aging, personal autonomy and life-long learning,” and this group fits in with that goal perfectly.

Gloria McClellan Center
1400 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista, CA 92084
Phone: 858-966-3303

This group is another partnership with Alzheimer’s San Diego meeting in Vista.

North Central and Central San Diego

Poway Adult Day Health Care Center
12250 Crosthwaite Circle, Poway, CA 92064
Phone: 858-748-5044 x15

This group meets the second Wednesday of each month from 10am to 11:30am Facilitator, Liz Landram says, “Anyone who is a caregiver is welcome. This is an ‘open group’ which means that some people attend every month and other people attend once in awhile. We even have caregivers in attendance sometimes who are caregiving at a distance.” The group also offers free respite during the group, meaning caregivers can bring their loved ones to participate in Poway’s adult day care activities at no cost during the time that the support group meets.

San Diego
San Carlos United Methodist Church
6554 Cowles Mountain Blvd., San Diego, 92119
Phone: 619-464-4331

This group is facilitated by the Reverend Greg LaDue. The church extends this invitation: “If you are caring for someone you love – at your home or by visiting a loved one in a care facility – it is demanding and can be draining of body, spirit and soul. LaDue welcomes caregivers the second and fourth Wednesday of each month in the Fireside Room at noon. “All are welcome – friends, family, members and non-members alike,” says LaDue.

University City
Alzheimer's Association San Diego/Imperial Chapter
5075 Shoreham Pl Ste 240, San Diego, CA 92122
Phone: 619-678-8322 x8341

This group will meet at the new offices of the Alzheimer’s Association on the second Wednesday of the month. The person to contact is Ana González Seda, Director of Programs. Their mission is to, “create a safe, confidential, supportive environment and a chance for participants to develop informal mutual support and social relationships.”

East County

Alpine Community Center
1830 Alpine Blvd., Alpine, 91901
Phone: 619-445-5291

This group meets on the first and third Wednesdays from 2pm to 3:30pm. through the Alzheimer’s Association to provide peer support, education, and hands-on training for caregivers.

Lantern Crest Senior Living
800 Lantern Crest Way, Santee, 92071
Phone: 60-212-1224

This group meets on the fourth Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and is also facilitated by Lynne Smith, a trained group leader. Their mission is to offer, “comfort, strength, and hope in a compassionate and safe environment.”

Ramona Senior Center
434 Aqua Lane, Ramona, 92065
Phone: 760-787-0172

Another partnership with Alzheimer’s San Diego meeting on the third Wednesday from 10am to 11:30am.

South San Diego

Chula Vista
George G. Alzheimer’s Centers, Inc.
280 Saylor Drive, Chula Vista, 91910
Phone: 619-420-1703

This Group meets every Wednesday from 3pm to 4pm and is led by Bernice Molina. The Glenner Centers offer free respite care during the group.

National City
George G. Alzheimer’s Centers, Inc.
Parkview at Paradise Village, Arcadia Avenue
National City, CA 91950
Phone: 619-399-5988

This group meets in the Great Room at Parkview every second and fourth Monday from 7pm to 8:30pm They offer free respite care during the group. Call ahead if you wish to use this service.

Imperial Beach
Imperial Beach Senior Center
1075 8th Street, Imperial Beach, 91932
Phone: 858-756-4691

This group meets on the third Tuesday of each month from 10am to 11:30am. and is facilitated by Anne Owens Stone in partnership with Alzheimer’s San Diego.

Other Support Options

If you're unable to attend a group in person due to a schedule conflict, there are other ways to become involved in a community of support. For example, the local Alzheimer’s Association offers a monthly telephone support group.

According to Larissa Haiker, Program & Education Specialist for the Southern California’s Alzheimer’s Association, “The Alzheimer's Association also has a Nationwide 24/7 Helpline 800-272-3900. While this is not a support group, it is available to caregivers, day and night, for additional support and information.”

The Alzheimer's Association also offers a national online support group called ALZConnected.

Finding a group in your local community, and connecting with others who know and understand your frustrations, joys, and challenges, can make all the difference to your health and well-being as you provide the best possible care for your loved one.

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