New Education & Support Group Begins for Emory Caregivers

As our population ages, boomers begin to retire, and the sandwich generation expands, talk at the water

cooler is changing.  Exchanges between employees focus on more than just how kids are doing at school or

who won the big college game over the weekend.  Conversations about what resources are available to

help an elderly parent age remain at home, what alternatives exist, or how to handle dementia related

behavioral problems are increasingly more common today. The caregiver’s secrets are surfacing and

employees are well beyond stressed.


While caring for an aging loved one or a sick family member can be rewarding, it may also involve significant

financial and emotional costs. Balancing work, family, and caregiving responsibilities can be tough, and can

take a toll on the caregiver in many ways.


Wesley Woods considered experts in the various ways life is affected by aging, realizes not only how

physical and emotional changes impact a person’s social network, friends and family, but also the toll it

takes on the caregivers of aging adults. They deal with this every day and have done so for over fifty



The Wesley Woods Transitions Senior Program is a comprehensive short-term psychiatric outpatient

program that provides support and treatment for senior adults facing emotional or behavioral health

difficulties. It features coordinated, intensive treatment that is more concentrated than traditional

outpatient care. The structured format provides medical monitoring plus therapeutic groups and activities.

It can be used as a step-down from inpatient treatment or used for individuals needing a more intensive

level of care but not hospitalization. The program enables older adults to address their illness while

remaining independent at home or in the community.


The Families in Transition Education & Support Group emerged from the Transitions Senior Program in

response to help meet the growing needs of caregivers. The group is open to the community, free to

members and facilitated by Pat Rich MS LPC, who is a therapist and geriatric case manager at Transitions. 

The program’s goal is to provide education, resources and support to caregivers who are facing the

psychological, physical, and social challenges of caregiving. Group members are encouraged to offer support

to one another and exchange ideas and experiences.


The group has been meeting for over a year on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 6:30-

7:30pm at 52 Executive Park South, Suite 5200, Atlanta, GA.  A second group has been announced to start

on the campus of Emory University beginning in August.  It will be held on the first and third Thursday of

every month from noon-1pm at the Center for Women conference room on the 3rd floor in Cox Hall, 569

Asbury Circle Atlanta GA 30322.  Meetings are free of charge and open to the community.  Parking is

available in the Fishburne Lot. For more information, please call Pat Rich at (404)728-6304.


1.Arno, P., Economic Value of Informal Caregiving, Presented at the Care

Coordination and Caregiver Forum, Department of Veterans Affairs, NIH,

Bethesda, MD, January 25-27, 2006.