As the population ages, caregivers become increasingly more important. Many times, family members will act as their loved one’s caregivers, and while this is a crucial job, it can also be an incredibly tough one. Luckily, there are plenty of supportive services for caregivers that can help them with their job. This help could come in the form of a support group or respite care, so the caregiver can take a much-needed break. If you care for a family member, don’t feel guilty about needing help and use some of these great resources to ease your burden.
Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease, not just for the patient but for their family members. It can also be one of the most difficult diseases to care for, which is why the Alzheimer’s Association offers plenty of support for caregivers. The Western Carolina Chapter serves 49 counties, including Mecklenburg County. The chapter has plenty of support services to help those living with Alzheimer’s as well as those who care for Alzheimer’s patients.
Support groups are one of the best ways to find help while caring for Alzheimer’s. The Mecklenburg area has over 30 different support groups you can attend, each for a particular demographic like early onset Alzheimer’s caregivers or the African-American support group. You can check their schedule for times and meeting places to find one that is convenient for you and some might even offer free respite care, so you don’t have to worry about your loved one while at a meeting.
The beginning of Alzheimer’s is often the hardest part for everyone involved because there are a lot of changes. The Western Carolina Chapter has support services that are specifically for early stage support. You can learn more about early detection and what happens at the onset of the disease. They have online support groups as well as local resources you can use to help during this difficult transition.
Education is also an important part of caring for Alzheimer’s, and the more you know as the caregiver, the easier the process can become. You can take one of the many educational courses offered through the Alzheimer’s Association including the basics of Alzheimer’s, living with Alzheimer’s as a caregiver, and effective communication strategies.
If you’re a senior 60 years or older, you can contact the local area agency on aging for the Family Caregiver Support Program. This program can help family caregivers find the resources they need to care for their loved ones. You can get help with things like counseling, different forms of respite care, and training on being a caregiver. You can call (704) 372-2416 for more information.
Veterans and their caregivers can utilize the resources of the local VA health care center. This can include services such as:
Peer support groups where new caregivers can learn from experienced caregivers
A support line that can help you with any question or issue you may have day or night
Telehealth system can provide health care via telephone for patients that can’t leave their home
In-home health care services
Adult day care services
A caregiver support coordinator that can help match patients to the services they need
All you have to do to use these services is call the Charlotte area Caregiver Coordinator at (704) 638-9000.
You can find additional caregiver resources through the Department of Social Services in Mecklenburg County. They can help provide transportation to medical appointments, respite care, meal delivery, and possibly help you get necessary medical equipment. They also have links to local training in the area to help you become a better caregiver. For more information, you can visit their website or call (704) 432-1111.
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