Family caregivers have a difficult job, but it’s one of the most important ones out there. Across the country, the baby boomer population is aging and as older adults need help with care, they are asking for help from their loved ones. In counties, cities, and statewide support services for caregivers are becoming more prominent, and non-profit organizations and healthcare systems are providing resources to the group as well. Caregivers need to manage their own health and well-being, so it’s important to take time off and to use support services when they’re needed. Columbus has many resources to assist caregivers including these 4 options.
The Central Ohio Chapter of the national not-for-profit the Alzheimer’s Association serves 13 counties in the state. They offer support and educational services to caregivers and seniors with dementia through a variety of programs in the area including seminars and educational events, support groups at area churches and community centers, fundraisers, and opportunities for advocacy in the community. Here are a few helpful options available in Columbus.
Free education programs that focus on topics pertinent to caregivers like “The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease” and “Memory Matters” are held throughout the area on a regular basis. Registration is required for these events, check the website for details on locations and how to register.
For help anytime you need it, caregivers can call help hotline at (800) 272-3900 or use resources within the Alzheimer’s Association online community by checking out the community forums.
There are a number of specialized support groups that meet bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly in Columbus. Focused on caregivers who are adult children, in the 20’s and 30’s, who have an early stage, or a young onset loved one they meet at locations like Worthington UMC, Gerlach Center for Senior Health, or Panera Bread- Clintonville. To find the best fit for you, check out the Community Resource tool. By selecting “Alzheimer’s Association Programs and Events,” and then entering your location and choosing to view “Support Groups,” you’ll see a complete listing of what’s available in your immediate area.
The Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging helps caregivers responsible for an adult ages 60 and older with a variety of services in the Columbus area. Contact their caregiver advocate line at 1-866-750-CARE for information and assistance with counseling, education, training, caregiver respite services, caregiver workshops, supplemental services, and legal resources. They also provide free long-term care consultations to help caregivers be better equipped to provide a high quality of care at home.
Seniors who are military veterans probably already know about their VA benefits, but they may not realize that family caregivers also have access to a number of resources and services as well. Caregiver support services include:
Support groups online with peers
A national hotline that provides around-the-clock help at (855) 260-3274
Access to adult day program providers in the Columbus area for daytime respite care
In-home respite care providers to give caregivers a break from their duties
Options to have in-home assistance from a homemaker, home health aide, or skilled nursing provider to share the load of caregiving responsibilities
Hospice care provided to a loved one in the home
Your local caregiver support coordinator can be contacted through the Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center at 614-257-5200.
The Ohio Department of aging is the state-level resource responsible for the programs offered through the local Area on Aging offices and can be a valuable resource to link you to services and support in Columbus. They also can help you determine if Medicaid may have a program your loved one qualifies for that could pay for any needed respite care. Contact them toll-free at 1-800-266-4346.
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