Family Caregiver Resources
It’s important to know that as a family caregiver, you don’t have to go it alone. There are numerous local and national resources available which can offer help. Families give 80% of the long-term care in this country to loved ones, and their need for information is growing. Unfortunately, family members do not receive training, and the care they give is learned by trial and error.
Often, caregivers make the mistake to think they should not burden others with their feelings because they are not the one who is ill. Talking about the illness of an aging parent and how you feel about it can help relieve stress.
If you’re giving care to a young child or parent, the first step is to educate oneself about the care a person needs. There are several facets of the care a recipient requires from you, but here are the top three:
- Medical treatments
- Medications and side effects
A surefire way to gain a sense of control in elder care is to become informed. Try accessing needed information on health issues, treatments, and medication data by utilizing the loved one’s doctor, pharmacist, support groups, the Internet, and libraries.
Top Resources for Caregivers
Federal Older Americans Act – Older American Act and Aging Network has developed a comprehensive system of home and community-based services. Members of this network help older individuals to maintain their health and independence at home.
State by state resource intends to help you locate government, non-profit, and private programs in your area. It includes services for family caregivers and resources for older adults or those living with disabilities at home or in a residential facility.
National Family Caregiver Association helps educate, support, and empower more that 65 million people who care for others living with a chronic illness, disability or frailties of old age.
Eldercare Locator – Connects caregivers to local services and resources for older adults and adults with disabilities across the United States.
National Alliance for Caregiving – a non-profit alliance of national Organizations focusing on issues of family caregiving.
ARCH Respite Network – Find programs and services that allow caregivers to get a break from caring for a loved one.
Medicare Caregiver – Get resources, stories, and newsletters about taking care of someone with Medicare. If you’re one of the nearly 66 million Americans caring for an aging, seriously ill, or disabled family member or friend, we’re here to help make your life a little easier.
12 Resources Every Caregiver Should Know – Handy list of support, services, and tips for caregivers.
AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center – Information, tools and tips for caregivers
Medicaid.gov – Home and community-based services (HCBS) provide opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their home or community. Find Your State Waivers Program
Pooch Pic – Dogs can make great companions for caregivers and those being cared for. This site lists breeds and has some great pictures of dogs.
As a patient or family caregiver, there are several steps you can take to help you be a more informed and competent member of the care team during the transition back home after hospitalization.
For Family Caregivers – What Do I Need Going Home from a Hospital or Rehab?
Guidance For Family Caregivers on HIPAA: Questions and Answers for Family Caregivers
Doctor Visits – This guide provides practical tips to help patients and family caregivers coordinate agendas before an appointment
The Emergency Room (ER) experience can be overwhelming and confusing. This guide delivers steps to help you prepare for and avoid, ER visits.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Resources
Alzheimer’s Association – Information and support for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Operates a 24/7 helpline and care navigator tools.
Alzheimers.gov – The government’s free information resource about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
DementiaToday posts scientific news and professional views on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias from the global research community. It promotes better health care through education, provides support to caregivers and loved ones who live with these diseases every day.
Alz.org – 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures – a Comprehensive Report on the Disease
101 Fun Things to Do with Loved One Living with Alzheimer’s Disease
As we age, we worry about becoming forgetful. We jump to conclude that it’s Alzheimer’s! Let scientists and their studies guide you on memory concerns and learn which kinds are serious.
National Institute on Aging – Forgetfulness: Knowing When to Ask for Help
BrightFocus Foundation – Exercise your mind and have fun with the following memory games!
Medicare.gov – Find and Compare: Doctors, Nursing Homes, Plans, Hospitals, Medical Supplies, and Home Health Care Services
Veterans Administration – Support and services for families caring for veterans. Maintains a Veteran caregiver support line.