Resources for Caregivers
A Place To Start
Being a caregiver takes enormous energy and resilience to be a caregiver - and sometimes, a booster shot helps. This article lists a few resources you can use.
Groups with websites online can be helpful. My favorite three were Aging Care, the Family Caregiver Alliance, and AARP.
AgingCare helps families find answers, support, and information on eldercare. They
Facilitate an online forum where caregivers share their experiences and learn from others by asking questions, providing answers, and participating in group discussions.
Help caregivers find and compare local service providers like elder law attorneys, in-home care companies, and senior housing options.
Provide helpful, actionable, and insightful articles, ebooks, checklists, legal forms, and guides produced and written by professional writers and elder care experts.
Family Caregiver Alliance - FCA offers a wealth of resources and seeks to improve the quality of life for caregivers and those they care for through education, services, research, and advocacy.
AARP- The American Association of Retired People - offers
Tools to Care for an Older Adult -Address issues to allow for independence
Resource Line - Free help for individuals taking care of a loved one
Resources Available in Spanish -Tips and advice in Spanish
CA Dept. of Aging - In California, the Caregiver Resource Centers (CRCs) offer help throughout the state to serve thousands of families and caregivers of those with Alzheimer's disease, stroke, Parkinson's disease, and other disorders.
California was the first state in the nation to establish a statewide network of support organizations for caregivers; every resident has access to a CRC in their area. Your state may have a similar center.
I referred to these sites often and read many articles on Google. Some ideas worked, and some could have been more effective.
Two things to consider.
You will have to experiment and decide which ideas work best for you.
Strategies that work one week, may be less effective the next.
We looked at adult day services, support groups, and respite care.
Adult Day Services - programs offer an alternative to nursing home care for those who don’t need 24-hour skilled nursing. The programs often assist working caregivers to balance the needs of work and caregiving responsibilities and respite for full-time family caregivers. They help people stay mentally and physically active, reducing their isolation, improving their health, and preventing a decline in their abilities.
Dan would have refused to attend or run away.
Support Groups - As a caregiver, you face unpredictable and ever-changing challenges. It can be easy to get lost in the responsibility and loneliness of the situation. Your friends and family often can’t relate to or understand what you’re going through, which makes things more challenging.
I attended one helpful support/education group. We met at the local Senior Center with an educator from Stanford University.
Respite Care - is planned or emergency care provided to a loved one with a disabling condition to provide temporary relief to family caregivers.
I tried to get in-home respite services when caring for Dan, but he refused.
I found the following free support groups helpful - and, yes, depressing but filled with good information.
Get in the Lifeboat – An Online Resource & Community for Dementia Caregivers
There are support groups for other issues, as well: cancer, multiple sclerosis, and strokes, to name a few.
I am unfamiliar with them, but you can type what you are looking for in the FaceBook Search box at the top left of the site.
Oh, Hello Alzheimer’s – a woman’s journal - living with and caring for her husband, who had dementia.
Oma’s Applesauce - A man’s chronicle of caring for his mother as she dealt with Alzheimer’s disease. You can watch her story on Facebook.
Frustration Boils Over - This is one video in a regular series that chronicles a son caring for his 90-year-old farther, who has dementia. It reminded me so much of Dan - the questions, the feistiness, and the confusion.
The free Aging Well Newsletter includes article dedicated to caregivers.
Aging Well: 30 Lessons for Making the Most of Your Later Years. This boo offers a set of guidelines for getting through the tough situations.
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If you want to contribute to my work, consider donating to the Alzheimers Association. This link takes you to their website. The choice is yours.