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Everyone needs words of encouragement, advice or someone to vent to from time to time, but caregivers often can't get away from their house long enough to get those things. SEAGO Area Agency on Aging has found the solution.

Since March 9, caregivers from all over Graham, Greenlee, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties have been meeting on Zoom every Tuesday at 2 p.m.

The "Pinkie's Up, Caregiver Mingle" is a way for caregivers to sit down, have a cup of tea with others in their situation and just chat, said Karen Enriquez, who is the family caregiver support program coordinator for SouthEastern Arizona Governments Organization.

"We're trying to build caregiver communities and link them," Enriquez said. 

Because caregivers are so often socially isolated and unable or uncomfortable asking people to take care of their loved ones, even for a little while, the Mingle could be the perfect solution, Enriquez said.

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"This is just a reminder for them to take time for self-care," Enriquez said. "They can share whatever they are experiencing and I think they'll find it will help them reduce stress, validate their experiences and provide a social connection."

Caregivers need to know they are not alone and what they are experiencing and feeling is completely normal, she said.

She and Delicia Acosta, a caregiver and SEAGO volunteer, facilitate the meeting, but on occasion, guests will "pop-up," including representatives from AARP and the Alzheimer's Association, Enriquez said.

Because SEAGO likes to track the success of its programs, participants are asked to register by calling Enriquez at 520-432-2528 ext. 221 or through Facebook: SEAGO Area Agency on Aging-Events.

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