Caregivers have an immense responsibility, and that can cause stress over a long time. Seniors rely on their family members more than ever to provide care and assistance with their daily lives. It’s important to remember that if you’re a caregiver, it’s ok to ask for help or take a break. There are plenty of supportive services and resources available in Fort Wayne.
The Alzheimer’s Association has long been a champion of supporting caregivers. They understand that it is a difficult job and dealing with Alzheimer’s can be a tough journey. The Greater Indiana Chapter serves 73 counties throughout the state and provides programs and services for patients and their caregivers as well.
If you’re new to being a caregiver, it can be beneficial to take a few educational courses to understand what your job is going to be. Some classes cover the basics of Alzheimer’s or help you identify the early signs of the disease. There are also online courses if you can’t make it to one of the locations as well as annual conferences and symposiums.
You can’t isolate yourself as a caregiver and support groups can help you connect with other caregivers going through the same experiences. Fort Wayne has several monthly meetings at separate locations and times so you can find one that fits your schedule. Fort Wayne also has a Memory Café where caregivers and their loved ones can gather and talk with other patients and caregivers. Check the calendar for the next meeting or meet-up.
It’s important also to allow yourself some fun and downtime. The Greater Indiana Chapter hosts events throughout the year that not only raises awareness about the disease but allows you to have a little break from your duties. There are sporting events, golf tournaments, auctions, and other fundraisers all around the state.
If you can’t make it to an event or meeting, you can visit the online caregiver resource center. This website has online support groups and message boards so you can still connect with others even if you can’t leave home. The helpline (800) 272-3900 is also available 24/7.
Not only can seniors find a variety of services through this agency, but caregivers can get support as well. Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana runs the Family Caregiver Center. Here, caregivers can meet with a professional that will do an assessment of their needs and find all the services that can help them with their job. This service is free and can help caregivers find the assistance they require. Call (260) 745-1200 for more information.
Not many caregivers realize they can get help through the VA system if they care for a veteran. The VA healthcare system offers caregivers:
24/7 telephone assistance
Support groups with other caregivers in the area
Professional services matching assistance to find what meets your needs
Telehealth system for housebound seniors
You can call the Caregiver Support Coordinator at (800) 360-8387 ext. 71608 to start finding services near you.
AARP put together an entire Caregiver Resource Guide for the state of Indiana. In this guide, you can find services for anything you need throughout the entire state. They have numbers and links to all relevant groups and services, and you can find just about anything in the guide.
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