Over 65 million Americans are caring for an aging or disabled loved one. While many of them are doing it out of care and compassion and of their own free will, caring for another human being on a full time basis is exhausting. A senior caregiver performs the same tasks as three shifts of staff in a hospital, nursing center, or assisted living center. Respite can be a great help to caregivers when they need to travel, tend to the needs of other family members, or to help transition their loved one into a senior living community. Here’s where to find help for the caregiver in Fresno.
Area Agency on Aging connects seniors and their caregivers with programs, services, and other resources to maintain and improve their quality of life. One of the ways that the agency helps caregivers is by providing services for seniors so that they can take a break for a day, a week or longer. The agency uses federal funds from the Older Americans Act to set up provider programs for adult day care, meals, and respite for caregivers. They also offer education, support groups, and case management for aging seniors.
City of Fresno Senior Connection offers many programs for Fresno Seniors that can help give senior caregivers a break. The city administers senior programs at six area senior citizen centers. Seniors can get a hot noon meal from the Meals on Wheels program. The senior centers offer adult day care programs and respite so that caregivers can take time off from caregiving. The local police department also helps caregivers with safety programs such as home security inspections, Citizens on Patrol (COPS) and senior crime prevention. The city also helps seniors with costs for transportation. They have a fixed route fare, a monthly pass, and taxi vouchers at greatly reduced rates.
Fresno County Network of Care also has programs for seniors and other people that are living with disabilities. The county program offers adult in-home respite care, home delivered meals, home health care, in-home non-medical assistance, in-home assistance registries, and in-home hospice care. All of these services supplement the work of senior caregivers and make their jobs easier.
VA Central California Health Care System is a division of the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. The Veteran’s Administration offers respite, education, and support for senior caregivers. They also provide special assistance for veteran’s with PTSD, women veterans, and veterans that need help after the 911 attacks. Senior caregivers may be able to get a monthly stipend, travel expenses, access to health care insurance, mental health services and counseling, and comprehensive V.A. Caregiver training.
Easter Seals offers programs for senior caregivers as they appreciate the willingness of family members to provide care for veterans and aging loved ones. The program recognizes that caregiving includes all the little errands and duties including paying bills, going grocery shopping, taking time off work for medical appointments, and other duties that take time away from the caregiver’s own family. Easter Seals provides free monthly online webinars for caregivers, as well as other information and education on senior caregiving.
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