APDA American Parkinson Disease Association
Information & Referral Center

Caregiver-Only Support Groups

Caregivers need to have their own support group meetings or gatherings because they need to vent, share, learn tips and resources, and receive support from others walking the same path. Ideally, a caregiver to someone with Parkinson's Disease can attend a PD-specific caregiver support group. Or someone dealing with Lewy Body Dementia can attend an LBD-specific caregiver support group. And so on.

There are only ten PD caregiver-only support groups in the Bay Area and two more in Northern California. And there is only one atypical parkinsonism (DLB, PSP, CBD, MSA) caregiver-only support group in the Bay Area.

There are thousands of caregivers in the Bay Area and Northern California dealing with PD, DLB, PSP, CBD, and MSA. These caregivers should consider attending general caregiver support groups; these groups are not specific to a single disorder. Additionally, caregivers dealing with dementia in the context of Parkinson's or parkinsonism should consider attending general dementia caregiver support groups. While many of the general dementia groups are focused on Alzheimer's Disease (it is the most common neurological disorder), many do welcome caregivers of all dementia types.


PD CAREGIVER-ONLY SUPPORT GROUPS - BAY AREA

Belmont - PD Caregivers Support Group (Organized by Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach)
1st Thursday, Noon - 2pm
Silverado Senior Living Belmont Hills, 1301 Ralston Ave., Belmont 94002
Facilitated by Betsy Conlan, LCSW
Group contact: Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach - Steven Russell [swrussell], 650-995-6379 phone, Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach phone 650-724-6090
Must RSVP before attending so meeting details can be confirmed, and directions for parking and finding the meeting room can be shared

Berkeley - PD Caregivers Support Group (Organized by PDactive)
4th Thursday, 3 - 4pm
North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK, Jr. Way), Berkeley 94709
Group contact: Joyce Sakai [caregivers pdactive.org], 510-525-5166
Please RSVP before attending as meeting details may occasionally change

Los Altos - PD Caregivers Support Group
Last Tuesday, 10:30am - Noon
Neutra House, 180 Hillview, Los Altos 94022
Group contact: Sue Buff [skb815 yahoo.com], 650-483-6409
Please RSVP before attending as meeting details may occasionally change

Menlo Park - PD Caregivers Support Group (Organized by Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach)
2nd Friday, Noon - 2pm
St Bede's Episcopal Church, 2650 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park 94025
Facilitated by Susan Weisberg, LCSW
Group contact: Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach - Robin Riddle [rriddle], 650-724-6090
Must RSVP before attending as meeting details may occasionally change and directions for parking and finding the meeting room will be shared

Menlo Park - PD Caregivers Support Group (Organized by Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach)
3rd Tuesday, Noon - 2pm
St Bede's Episcopal Church, 2650 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park 94025
Facilitated by Betsy Conlan, LCSW
Group contact: Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach - Robin Riddle [rriddle], 650-724-6090
Must RSVP before attending as meeting details may occasionally change and directions for parking and finding the meeting room will be shared

Mill Valley - PD Caregivers Break-out Session (Organized by Marin County Parkinson's Support Group)
4th Tuesday, 2 - 3pm (2nd hour of PD support group meeting)
The Redwoods, 40 Camino Alto, Mill Valley 94941
Facilitated by Joann Katz, MFT
General support group contact: Eric [ericjs sonic.net], 415-383-5145
Contact before attending to confirm meeting details

Oakland - Mindfulness-Based PD Caregivers Support Group
1st Thursday, 1:30 - 3pm
Lakeside Park Senior Community, 468 Perkins St., Oakland 94610
Facilitated by Marguerite Manteau-Rao, LCSW
Group contacts: Marguerite Manteau-Rao [margueriterao gmail.com], and Lakeside Park Senior Community, 510-444-4684

San Jose (The Villages) - PD Caregivers Support Group
1st Wednesday, 10 - 11am
The Villages Golf and Country Club, Cribari Center, Redwood Room, 5000 Cribari Lane, San Jose 95135
Group contact: Alice Pratte, 408-223-8033
Must RSVP before attending each meeting as access pass is required to enter gated community

San Jose (Willow Glen) - PD Caregivers Support Group
4th Wednesday, 1:30 - 3:30pm
St. Francis Episcopal Church, 1205 Pine Ave., San Jose 95125
Group contact: Charmaine Eng, 408-723-8116

Walnut Creek - PD Caregivers Support Group
Mostly 3rd Saturday, 9 - 10am
(Note: No 9am meeting if 3rd Saturday 10am - Noon meeting has breakout groups.)
Grace Presbyterian Church, 2100 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek 94595
Group contacts: Liz Wormer [neilnlizwormer aol.com], 925-828-1789, and Larry Unruh [tonyandlarry gmail.com], 925-847-3685


PD CAREGIVER-ONLY SUPPORT GROUPS - NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Auburn - PD Caregivers Lunch
2nd Tuesday, Noon
Sizzler's Restaurant, 13570 Lincoln Way, Auburn 95603
Group contact: Sally Horst [kandshorst suddenlink.net], 530-878-2226

Davis - PD Caregivers Support Group
2nd Tuesday, 1:30 - 3pm
(No meeting in July and August)
Davis Senior Center, 646 A St., Davis 95616
Group contact: John Shaw [johnannshaw mindspring.com], 530-759-0143

Santa Rosa - PD Caregivers Break-out Session (Organized by Sonoma County Parkinson's Support Group)
1st Saturday, 2 - 3pm (2nd hour of PD support group meeting) - Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Oct, Nov
2nd Saturday, 2 - 3pm (2nd hour of PD support group meeting) - Aug, Dec
(No meeting in Jan, July, or Sept)
Christ Church United Methodist, 1717 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa 95405
Caregiver group contact: Arlene Irizary [irizary juno.com], 707-887-7451


ATYPICAL PARKINSONISM CAREGIVER-ONLY SUPPORT GROUP- BAY AREA

San Mateo - Atypical Parkinsonism Support Group (Organized by Brain Support Network)
Caregiver-only meetings about every 6 weeks (please call for schedule)
Sundays, 5 - 7pm
Mimi's Cafe, 2208 Bridgepointe Parkway, San Mateo 94404
Group contact: Robin Riddle [robin.riddle brainsupportnetwork.org], Brain Support Network, 650-814-0848
Note: Atypical Parkinsonism includes Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Dementia with Lewy
Bodies, Multiple System Atrophy, and Corticobasal Degeneration
Must RSVP before attending to be sure there are no schedule changes and that an accurate headcount is given to the restaurant


GENERAL CAREGIVER ONLY SUPPORT GROUPS (Not PD-specific) - BAY AREA

These general groups are open to family caregivers. Most focus on caregivers to the elderly. Some may be specifically for adult children or spouses. At any given time, there may be no one dealing with Parkinson’s Disease or atypical parkinsonism attending these meetings but the group make-up changes over time and you may not be looking for PD-specific information anyway. There is no cost, unless indicated. All have a “drop-ins welcome” policy, unless indicated.

Berkeley
4th Saturday of each month, 9:30 - 11:30am
First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, Church Lounge (W102), Westminster Hall, 2407 Dana St.,
Berkeley 94704
Group contact: Berkeley Christian Counselors, 510-548-5858
Additional group contact: Sarah Guerra-Orantes, 510-381-1728

Burlingame
2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month, 6:30 - 8pm
Senior Focus Center, Mid-Peninsula Medical Arts Building, 1720 El Camino Real, Suite 10, Burlingame 94010
Group contact: Mills-Peninsula Health Services Senior Focus, 650-696-3660

Cupertino
2nd Thursday of each month, 3 - 4:30pm
City of Cupertino Senior Center, 21251 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino 95014
Group contact: Karen Goss, Case Manager, Cupertino Senior Center, 408-777-3150
Group facilitator: Vivian Silva, MSW, Cupertino Senior Center

Fremont
2nd and 4th Mondays of each month, 1 - 2:30pm
City Hall, Bldg B, Large Conference Room, 3300 Capitol Ave., Fremont 94538
Group contact: Nancy Rothschild, LMFT, Coordinator, Family Caregiver Support Program, Aging &
Family Services, City of Fremont, 510-574-2035

Fremont
1st Wednesday of each month, 11am - noon
City Hall, Bldg B, Large Conference Room, 3300 Capitol Ave., Fremont 94538
Group contact: Nancy Rothschild, LMFT, Coordinator, Family Caregiver Support Program, Aging &
Family Services, City of Fremont, 510-574-2035

Half Moon Bay
Last Wednesday of each month, 12:30 - 2pm
Coastside Adult Day Health Center, 645 Correas St. (across from library), Half Moon Bay 94019
Group contact and facilitator: Dawn Fitzpatrick, Social Services, Coastside Adult Day Health Center, 650-726-5067

Lafayette
Two Mondays each month, 1:30 - 2:30pm
Lafayette Community Center, Elderberry Room, 500 St. Mary's Rd., Lafayette 94549
Group contact: Molly Cohen, Lafayette Senior Services, 925-284-5050
Group facilitator: Carol Shenson, certified geriatric care manager, ResCare HomeCare Lafayette
Call for meeting schedule. Community Center members – no charge; non-members – $1/meeting.

Los Gatos
2nd Tuesday of each month, 5 - 6:30pm
Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley (JFSSV), 14855 Oka Rd., Suite 202, Los Gatos 95032
Group contact and facilitator: Avital Agam, social worker, JFSSV, 408-357-7450
Must RSVP before attending each meeting as meeting details may occasionally change. Fee is $10 per session (sliding scale available).

Mountain View
3rd Wednesday of each month, 7 - 9pm
El Camino Hospital, usually Meeting Room A (ground floor), 2500 Grant Road, Mountain View 94040
Group contact: Joy Tobin, El Camino Hospital Health Library, 650-988-8343
Group facilitator: Elizabeth Mueller, Behavioral Health Services, El Camino Hospital, 650-940-7138
Meeting location within hospital varies so inquire with hospital’s front desk as to the meeting room

Palo Alto - Spouse/Partner Caregivers
2nd and 4th Mondays of each month, 11am - 12:30pm
Avenidas, 450 Bryant St., Palo Alto 94301
Group contact: Paula Wolfson, LCSW, Avenidas Care Partners, 650-289-5438
Call prior to attending for the first time

San Francisco
1st Thursday of each month, 5:30 - 7pm
Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., San Francisco 94115
Group contact: Eldercare Services, 415-469-8300
RSVP preferred

San Mateo
1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month, 10:30am - noon
Mills Health Center, Palm Room, 100 S. San Mateo Dr., San Mateo 94402
Group contact: Frances Huang, Mills-Peninsula Health Services Senior Focus, 650-696-3660

Walnut Creek
2nd Thursday of each month, 6 - 7:30pm
Eldercare Services, 1808 Tice Valley Blvd. (Tice Valley Plaza), Walnut Creek 94595
Group contact: Eldercare Services, 925-937-2018
Call in advance to confirm date and time

 

DEMENTIA CAREGIVER ONLY SUPPORT GROUPS (Not PD-specific) - BAY AREA

These groups are open to family caregivers of those with dementia. Most focus on caregivers to those with Alzheimer's. All listed below welcome those coping with other types of dementia. Some groups may be specifically for adult children or spouses. At any given time, there may be no one dealing with Parkinson’s Disease Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, or Corticobasal Degeneration attending these meetings but the group make-up changes over time and you may not be looking for disorder-specific information anyway. There is no cost, unless indicated. All have a “drop-ins welcome” policy, unless indicated.

Pleasant Hill - Most participants are caregivers to those with dementia
3rd Wednesday of each month, 1:30 - 3:30pm
The Chateau III, 175 Cleaveland Rd., Pleasant Hill 94523
Group contact: Alison Wall or Lisa Spivey, Chateau III, 925-935-1001
Group facilitator: Vickie Bellingham, RN, geriatric care manager, ElderCare Services
Must RSVP prior to each meeting for facility access. Ring front doorbell on arrival for receptionist escort.

San Carlos - Caregivers of those with memory problems or dementia (Co-sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association)
1st Tuesday of each month, 1 - 2:30pm
Catholic Charities CYO - San Carlos Adult Day Services, in First Baptist Church, 787 Walnut St., San Carlos 94070
Group contact: Nancy Keegan, 650/592-9325
Group facilitator: Carly Cullimore, MSW
Call in advance to arrange for free respite care for care recipients during meetings

San Jose/Evergreen - Family caregivers of older loved ones with Alzheimer's or dementia, residing in Santa Clara County
2nd Monday of each month, 3:30 - 5pm
St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 5111 San Felipe Rd., San Jose 95135
Group contact: Milton Cadena, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, 408-325-5237
Group facilitator: Nancy Tamburello, Adult Day Care Program Supervisor, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, 408-270-4900

San Rafael - Most participants are caregivers to those with memory loss
3rd Thursday, 11am - 12:30pm
Lucas Valley Community Church, 2000 Las Gallinas Ave., San Rafael 94903
Group contact and co-facilitator: Jen Tripathy, Senior Access of Marin, 415-491-2500 ext. 14
Call in advance to arrange for free respite care for care recipients during meetings

Sunnyvale - Family caregivers of older loved ones with Alzheimer's or dementia, residing in Santa Clara County
2nd Tuesday of each month, 3:30 - 5pm
First United Methodist Church, 535 Old San Francisco Rd., Sunnyvale 94086
Group contact: Milton Cadena, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, 408-325-5237
Group facilitator: Ginger McClure, Adult Day Care Program Supervisor, 408-530-8734

Sunnyvale - Mandarin-speaking family caregivers of older loved ones with Alzheimer's or dementia, residing in Santa Clara County
4th Tuesday of each month, 3:30 - 5pm
First United Methodist Church, 535 Old San Francisco Rd., Sunnyvale 94086
Group contact: Milton Cadena, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, 408-325-5237
Group facilitator: Ching-Ming Hsueh, Adult Day Care Program Supervisor, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, 408-282-1134

 

This list compiled by Robin Riddle of Stanford's Parkinson's Community Outreach, March 2012. Greatly expanded and updated by Beth Miller, June 2014.

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