More people are becoming caregivers to aging relatives and friends as the US population ages. Caregivers need relief and services for help because this task is more exhausting than any other full-time job. Government (local and national), private agencies, nonprofits, and medical institutions provide programs to support seniors and their caregivers. Below are four resources in Baltimore to help you and your loved one to live safely and comfortably.
The Greater Maryland Chapter of the National Alzheimer’s Association offers a variety of free programs to educate, support, and find area resources for caregivers and those with Alzheimer’s disease.
Early-Stage Social Engagement Programs help those with an early stage of memory loss to lead an active daily life and make friendships. The support group meets in smaller settings with caregivers to discuss feelings, concerns, and any other topic of choice. Memory Café is a safe and comfortable place for early-stage memory loss individuals and their families to socialize and share ideas. These sessions are free.
There are regularly scheduled support groups divided into the specialty categories such as early-stage, younger-onset, late-stage, spouses, Latino, and caregivers. If attending meetings are hard for you, there is a telephone support group for dementia caregivers once a month.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers several education programs for families and those with Alzheimer’s. You can choose between conferences, family sessions, and health professional training. You can also find an extensive virtual library for additional information.
If you have questions, call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline to speak with a trained professional. They are prepared to handle any inquiries including finding available resources, medications, respite care, and treatment options for Alzheimer’s. You can call to get the emotional support you need toll-free at 1.800.272.3900.
There is another resource at your fingertips through a caregiver support forum. Visit www.alzconnected.org to join the online supportive community of caregivers across the nation.
Baltimore residents caring for an adult over 60 are eligible for various services through Baltimore City Caregivers Program. You can find a variety of information on topics such as legal, senior housing, providing care, and end of life care. Caregivers can participate in Called to Care which supports caregivers and provides partnerships with local community organizations.
The VA provides benefits and services to caregivers along with veterans. You can get support from the VA through the following programs:
Caregiver Support Line offers help with a phone call
Caregiver Support Coordinator is local and will help you find the right services
Adult Day Care Centers for a safe environment to get out of the home
Peer Support to get you in touch with other caregivers
Home-Based Primary Care for routine health services
Homemaker and Home Health Aides to aid personal care
Respite care to give you a break
Home Hospice Care
Call the VA’s Caregiver Support Line at 1.855.260.3274 to find out more.
You can find information on Baltimore County housing options, senior centers, transportation, and additional caregiver information on the Baltimore County Department of Aging website.
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