If you are the caregiver for a family member not only is the health of your loved one important but so is yours. It can be easy to burn yourself out with all your caretaking responsibilities and you might feel guilty asking for help. It’s ok to ask for help and because there are so many more caretakers now than there were before, there are also many more programs and services to help you out. Fort Worth has a lot of options when it comes to support for caretakers and these are just a few.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be hard to handle but the caretaking duties it requires can be just as difficult. The Alzheimer’s Association has done the best they can to provide as many services as possible not only for those people with Alzheimer’s but the people who take care of them as well.
Educating yourself as a caregiver is an important first step when handling Alzheimer’s. It can better prepare you for everything that is ahead. The North Central Texas chapter has a summer seminar for caregivers that goes over everything you could possibly need to be a caregiver for Alzheimer’s. There are two dates and locations so you can choose which is most convenient for you and the seminar is free of charge.
REACH is another program that North Central Texas offers to caregivers in the area. It stands for Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health and helps caregivers and their loved ones get the care and tools they need. Making sure the caregiver’s health is taken care of ultimately means the person with Alzheimer’s gets better care.
Support groups are another simple way to help ease the burden of caregiving. Once a month you can meet with other caregivers in various locations around Fort Worth to talk about your experiences and struggles as well as share resources and knowledge. Some meetings also provide free care so you don’t have to leave your loved one alone to attend.
United Way of Tarrant County serves as the Area Agency on Aging in Fort Worth. They also offer care services for caregivers in the area to make their lives and jobs a little easier. They have teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Association to offer the REACH program to their residents and they also have access to respite care services and a free nine-week program that shows family caregivers how to better manage their stress. You can call 817-258-8000 to get more information about all of these programs.
Veterans, as well as their caregivers, can access a variety of services through the VA North Texas Health Care System. There are a few locations, including a clinic in Fort Worth, but not all services are offered through the clinics. Caregivers who work with veterans can use things like:
Caregiver Support Coordinator- This trained professional will match you with every service you’re eligible for and make sure you know where other resources are located.
Caregiver Support Line- You can call this line whenever you have questions about VA services, caregiving, or even if you just need someone to talk to.
Peer Support Mentoring Program- Pair up with another caregiver and gain support, knowledge, and experience from their expertise.
Caregivers also have the opportunity to use services like:
Adult Day Care and Respite Care when you need to go to an appointment, run errands, or take a break.
Homemaker Services for when you need extra help around the house so you can focus on caregiving.
Skilled Home Care and Hospice Care when you need expert health care in the comfort of your own home.
To learn more about these programs and services you should contact your local Caregiver Support Coordinator at 214-857-0162.
The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services has a program called Take Time Texans that is geared towards caregivers. This program encourages caregivers to take the time they need to care for themselves so they can be a better caregiver for their loved ones. You can find local respite care services and other resources through their website and you can also call 855-937-2374 to learn more.
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