Family caregivers are becoming more common as the population ages and seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible. Being a caregiver can be rewarding but it can also be difficult and there is no shame in admitting you need help or that you need to take a break. There are city, state, and non-profit groups who have created programs and services to help support caregivers in their duties. You can find a few of these services listed below.
There are many seniors living with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia and more often than not, their family members are their caregivers. Alzheimer’s can be difficult to care for on your own which is why the Alzheimer’s Association has created plenty of support services, training programs, and educational opportunities. The Colorado chapter provides support and information to over 65,000 people and here are just a few services you can use.
Social activities can be a good way to engage your loved one in the world around them while also taking a break from your regular routine. Spark is a program that partners with local businesses and attractions to offer free tours, entertainment, and social activities for patients and their caregivers. You can find out more information on their schedule and see if you need to register for an event.
The Colorado chapter has an extensive list of classes and workshops that can help caregivers learn more about Alzheimer’s and how to properly take care of their loved ones. You can search class lists by area and find a class that meets your needs.
You’re going to need support during your job as a caregiver and there are numerous support groups you can join in your area. These meetings give you a chance to connect with other people who are going through the same thing. You can find a group that fits your schedule and some even offer respite so you don’t have to worry about your loved one.
The local Area Agency on Aging is another good resource for family caregivers. The Family Caregiver Support Center offers things like caregiver respite voucher programs, group consultations, education tools, mentoring programs, and even a caregiver pampering day. If you would like more information about this program you can check out their brochure or call 719-886-7526.
Even if you’re not a veteran you can get access to caregiver resources through the VA health system if you care for a senior veteran. These resources include:
Caregiver Support Coordinators- Trained professionals who can assess your needs and eligibility and then find the programs that will work for you.
Caregiver Support Line- A telephone system that connects you to professionals who can provide you with information, assistance, or just listen to you vent.
Peer Support Program- Connect with another caregiver and share advice and support about caregiving.
In-home health services like a homemaker or home health aide.
If you need a break or rest, respite care or adult day care services.
Home telehealth if your loved one needs medical care but can’t leave their home.
Skilled nursing or hospice care if needed.
You can call your caregiver coordinator at 303-399-8020 to get more information on all of these services.
The Colorado Respite Coalition is a good resource for family caregivers. You can find assistance, both financial and physical, grant opportunities, education, and more through this group. They also have information on how to be a better caregiver and various advocacy programs. You can call Meghan Baskett, the program manager, at 303-233-1666 ext. 257 for more information.
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