Many family members help provide caregiving duties for their elderly loved ones and while this is important work it can also be very draining, especially if it’s new to you. You might feel bad about asking for help or admitting you need to take a break but this is normal and there are many resources available to assist you in caregiving. You don’t have to do it all yourself and using help can make you a better caregiver.
If you are caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s, you know that this disease is difficult not just for you but for the patient as well. You can find supportive services through the San Antonio and South Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. They serve numerous counties throughout the area and have plenty of resources to share with caregivers.
Something that helps a lot of caregivers is some form of a support group. A support group can help you feel connected to other caregivers, and it’s a good way to share advice and knowledge about caring for Alzheimer’s. There are weekly meetings that are at different times and places so you can find one that works best for your schedule. If you can’t get to any of these meetings, you can take part in the telephone support group or go online to ALZConnected and join an online support group.
Education is another important part of being a caregiver especially if you’re new to the job. You can find different educational opportunities through the San Antonio and South Texas Chapter. There is a course on stress busting techniques for caregivers as well as a course on living with Alzheimer’s for caregivers. You can check the schedule to find out when these courses are offered.
You can also find additional resources online at the Alzheimer’s Association Virtual Library. This online resource has studies, research, and more to help inform you about the disease and teach you new strategies on caregiving. It can also provide lists of local resources to assist you with your duties and links to websites that are useful.
The local area agency on aging for Corpus Christi runs the National Family Caregiver Support Program. This federally funded program helps caregivers find access to information and resources in the area that will help them in their caregiving duties. This assistance can include things like respite care when needed, meal delivery services, in home health care, and much more. The Area Agency on Aging also provides caregiver support groups and workshops to help make your job easier. You can call (361) 883-3935 for more information.
Many caregivers don’t realize that if they are caring for a veteran they can use the VA health care system to receive supportive services such as:
National hotline that is available 24/7 to help with any problem or issue
Peer support groups that allow new and experienced caregivers to share knowledge and support
Caregiver Support Coordinator- A trained specialist who will find the right services based on your needs
In home health care options like homemaker or home health aide
Respite care services like adult daycare
Telehealth system for seniors who need medical care but can’t leave their house
To start using these services or learn more about the programs, you can call the Caregiver Coordinator at (361) 939-6510.
Another resource for respite care is through the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. You can call to find local respite care programs in your area, and they will even find programs that can be covered by Medicaid if necessary. You can call (800) 252-9240 to learn more information or find a program near you.
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