Being a caregiver for a family member can mean a lot of different things. You might cook for them, take them to appointments, help them with daily chores, give them medication, or just provide companionship. While this can all be helpful and beneficial, it can also be draining, and it’s important to take care of yourself as much as you care for your loved one. Charleston has a lot of resources available to caregivers and they can help you take a break when you need it or assist you with jobs you can’t do on your own.
Alzheimer’s is often a devastating diagnosis, not just for the patient but for their family and caregivers too. It’s a challenging disease that requires a lot of care and attention which is why it’s easy to burn out on caregiving duties. The South Carolina chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association serves all of South Carolina, and they have great resources for caregivers.
One month of each year, the South Carolina chapter hosts a caregiver appreciation month. They have free events like the Caregiver Wellness Expo and the Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver’s Conference. These events can help you learn new strategies and techniques to help with caregiving as well as give you a chance to meet other caregivers. For 2016, November is caregiver appreciation month, and you can learn more about the events on their website.
Meeting with other caregivers in a support group is an excellent way to make sure you take care of yourself. These weekly meetings can give caregivers a chance to share their stories, advice, and encourage one another during a tough time. There are several different times and locations for these meetings so you can find one that fits your calendar, but if you can’t make it to a meeting, you can always join an online support group at ALZConnected.
The Alzheimer’s Association also has a lot of programs that can help caregivers with their jobs like the Medic Alert and Safe Return program or the Respite Voucher program, which gives $500 annually to families who need help with respite care. Caregivers can also visit the online caregiver center to find any and everything they might need to make their job a little easier.
Trident Area Agency on Aging runs the National Family Caregiver Support Program. This program provides caregivers with supportive services to help their loved ones and allow them to take a break when they need it. There are respite care programs, caregiver educational programs, and supplemental programs like meal delivery or transportation to appointments. The agency also has a caregiver resource guide and local support groups. To find out more information call (843) 554-2275.
Veterans can get a lot of health care assistance through the VA health care system, but their caregivers can also find supportive services through the VA. Services include:
Peer support groups for caregivers to connect with each other
National hotline for any issue or problem you face
Caregiver Support Coordinator to help you find the right programs
Telehealth system for seniors that need medical care but can’t leave their house
Homemakers and home health aides
Access to respite care when you need a break
Adult day care if your family member needs a place to go during the day
If you’re interested in using these programs, you need to call the Caregiver Coordinator at (843) 577-5011.
Respite Care Charleston is a group that provides respite for seniors when their caregivers need a break. However, they also provide caregiver support programs to help you when you need it. They have support groups that meet while your family member is in respite care and the groups are led by both caregivers and professionals that can help with problems you might have. All meetings are confidential and also inform caregivers of educational opportunities in the area. If you want to find out more about this program, call (843) 647-7405.
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