Benevilla Support Groups Focus on Strengthening the Caregiver

August 18, 2023

At the Benefitness Adaptive Gym a group of family caregivers meet to share thoughts, feelings, and experiences and piece together support, encouragement, inspiration and information from each other. Lorrie Karn, MPsy, Director of Benefitness, and Coach Rudy have partnered together to present an interactive series of support groups with a new twist to assist caregivers on their journey. This support group series is called “Staying Strong – Strengthening the Caregiver.” These unique and interactive sessions will address both the physical and emotional dimensions of caregiving.

“Benevilla knows taking care of someone can be difficult. In fact, studies show over 30 percent of caregivers will pass away before the person they are caring for. The stress of caregiving can take a significant toll on one’s health,” says Joanne Thomson, Benevilla President and CEO. “The reason Benevilla offers these free support groups is to provide caregivers ways to maintain their health and active lifestyles while introducing them to a reassuring circle of new friends who can relate to the daily ups and downs of caregiving.”

Learning about the physical dimensions of caregiving is essential because caregiving often involves providing direct assistance, support, and care to individuals who may have physical limitations, medical conditions, or disabilities. Each support group session is designed to demonstrate fitness and functional movement basics promoting the ability to aid in self-care and caring for others. Each workshop will include specific guidance on safe approaches to back care and physical stability. During the support groups the members will look inside to see how physical strengthening impacts the mental and emotional side of caregiving. These support groups are offered both in person and by Zoom.

The in-person sessions are led by Coach Rudy Coronado on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 2:00 – 3:00 pm at the Benefitness Adaptive Gym located on the Benevilla main campus at 16752 N. Greasewood St. in Surprise. Please note the workshops are limited to 12 participants. You can sign up by emailing or calling 623-526-4404.

The Zoom sessions are led by Benefitness Director Lorrie Karn and are held the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2:00 – 3:00 pm. You can sign up by emailing to receive the Zoom link.

“Overall, these support groups provide a valuable space where individuals can find understanding, connections, and resources to navigate challenging circumstances,” says Lorrie Karn, Director of Benefitness Adaptive Gym. “Caregivers need to be knowledgeable about proper lifting techniques, transferring methods, and equipment use to ensure the safety of both them and the person they are caring for. Improper lifting or transfers can lead to injuries for both the caregiver and the care recipient.”

Established in 1981, Benevilla is a not-for-profit family services agency dedicated to enriching the lives of West Valley residents by providing care services for older adults, adults with disabilities, children, and families. For more information on services, volunteer opportunities, to take a tour or donate to Benevilla, call 623-584-4999 or visit