Take advantage of resources that are available for caregivers

When you become a family caregiver, you take on an enormous, important responsibility. At times, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and alone. That’s natural. But fortunately, it’s not the case. There are a host of resources available to caregivers that can make a huge difference in the life and health of the senior as well as the family caregiver.

At home

  • Friends and Family: Keep a list of friends, family, fellow organization members and neighbors nearby for when you need a bit of help now and then.
  • Home Care Aides: Handle chores, such as cleaning the house, grocery shopping or laundry.
  • Personal Care Aides: Help with activities, like bathing, dressing or using the toilet.
  • Home Repair Services: Normal home maintenance, plus small projects that make the home safer and more secure.
  • Respite Service Programs: Give the family caregiver a break by taking in or caring for a senior loved one for a period of time.
  • Home Meal Delivery Programs: Programs like Meals on Wheels make sure seniors get healthy meals and a little pleasant social interaction.
  • Companion/Telephone Services: Volunteers provide welcome interaction and reassurance, visiting the home or placing telephone calls to check on a senior’s well-being.
  • Home Observation Services: Many communities encourage people who stop regularly, such as letter carriers and utility workers, to report problems like accumulating mail to designated responders.
  • Home Healthcare Services: These organizations send licensed professionals to the home to assist in treatment prescribed by the senior’s physician.

Around town

  • Senior Centers: More and more communities recognize the value of senior centers as a place for local residents to gather for recreational activities as well as health screenings, art fairs and more.
  • Adult Day Care: Offer a variety of time periods throughout the day.
  • Care Managers/Social Workers: These professionals have training in areas such as gerontology, social work, nursing and/or counseling so they can provide real help with issues facing seniors and their family caregivers.
  • Transportation: Most communities run free senior bus/shuttle service to and from places seniors visit regularly, such as senior centers, shopping malls, local museums and attractions. Many facilities, such as hospitals, also run free shuttles.

Reading Materials For Caregivers

There is a wealth of information readily available that addresses the issues facing family caregivers. Please review the recommended list below:

  • Caregivers Handbook by Deni Brown.
  • Caregiving: Hospice-Proven Techniques for Healing Body and Soul by Douglas Smith.
  • Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss, and Renewal by Beth Witrogen McLeod.
  • Caring for Yourself While Caring for Your Aging Parents: How to Help… by Claire Berman.
  • Dutiful Daughters: Caring for Our Parents as They Grow Old by Jean Gould .
  • How to Care for Aging Parents by Virginia Morris and Robert Butler.
  • How to Take Care of You So You Can Take Care of Others by Sue Vineyard.
  • I’ll Take Care of You: A Practical Guide for Family Caregivers by Joseph A. Ilardo, Ph.D and Carole R. Rothman, Ph.D.
  • Making the Moments Count: Leisure Activities for Caregiving Relationships by Joanne Ardolf Decker.
  • Stress Reduction for Caregivers by Anne D. Katz.