Senior caregiving, especially among baby boomers, is becoming more and more common as their parents start to experience chronic health problems. An AARP study indicated that about 54% of the baby boomer generation currently cares for their children, parents, or both. While over half of baby boomers feel up to the task of caring for an aging loved one either part-time or full-time, they are not immune to the stressors that come with managing multiple households. All caregivers will find valuable benefits in learning to accept help in the form of education, support, adult day care, and respite.
The Colorado Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is the Denver Regional Council of Government (DRCG), which provides seniors and their caregivers with a comprehensive, coordinated system of community-based services for Denver’s seniors. DRCG carries out programs through the AAA, as well as through providers that they have contracts with throughout the city of Denver. Some of the programs include information, referral services, case management, transportation, meal delivery, public senior centers, and legal referrals. DRCG offers a list of available providers and services that are funded under the Older Americans Act and the Older Coloradans Act. DRCG also serves as the Aging and Disability Resource Center for Colorado (ADRC).
DRCG offers a website that is packed with community resources for seniors and their caregivers for all of the diverse ethnicities and cultures of Denver residents. The Learning Center offers a library of resources on caregiving, memory loss, stress, and healthy aging. They also have information on Medicare, fall prevention, medications, and current legislation on eldercare. Caregivers may call DRCG at (303) 480-6700 for information and assistance by a qualified Aging and Disability Resource Specialist who can help find resources in the senior’s local community.
Colorado supports more than 64,000 seniors with Alzheimer’s diseases and symptoms of dementia, along with their families and primary caregivers. DCRG offers training for senior caregivers in six Denver locations to help them understand symptoms of aging and how to better respond to them. Programs include a 24-hour helpline at (800) 272-3900, education workshops, caregiver support groups, family counseling, Medic Alert/Safe Return programs, dementia case management, and homemaker services.
Family caregivers usually find that sometimes they need a break for a day or longer. Sometimes they need outside caregiver help for a weekend or just overnight. Respite programs allow caregivers to take that break knowing that a provider can fill that role in their absence and their loved one will be safe and provided for.
DRCG can match seniors and their caregivers with one of the six caregiver or care receiver support groups, so that both parties can learn and grow together in a healthier way, through the process of aging. Support groups allow participants to share their own challenges, struggles, and experiences. It’s through the sharing of experiences that helps seniors and their caregivers to not feel so isolated and alone. Support groups give seniors and caregivers the strength to navigate the aging process with confidence
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