Caregivers play a vital role in the lives of many Garland seniors. Because the baby boomer generation is entering their retirement years, the demand for caregivers has gone up. Many seniors turn to their family members for help because they feel more comfortable with someone they know but the job can be challenging and at times, overwhelming. Fortunately, caregivers have access to plenty of resources to help them care for their loved ones and themselves.
When you care for someone with Alzheimer’s, you take on a big job. It’s a complicated disease that takes its toll on everyone involved. The Alzheimer’s Association wants to make sure that both patients and caregivers have the resources they need and the Greater Dallas chapter supports Dallas and the surrounding counties.
If you are new to caring for Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to learn all that you can. The Changing Gears program helps both newly diagnosed patients and caregivers learn about how to handle this difficult time. You can learn about the disease, ways to help cope, and the best strategies to be a caregiver. You do have to call in advance to participate in this program.
It is crucial to have a strong support network when you act as a caregiver for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease. Support groups are a good way to stay connected to others who are dealing with similar situations. These weekly meetings allow you to talk about your duties, share advice and knowledge, and encourage one another. If you can’t make it to a weekly meeting, you can go to ALZConnected and join an online support group.
Sometimes you just need a break from your daily tasks and the Caregiver’s Day Out program does just that. These meetings happen once or twice a month at different locations in the area, and most are free, but you will have to register beforehand.
The Dallas Area Agency on Aging is an excellent resource for both seniors and their caregivers. If you are over 60, you might be eligible to participate in some of the programs like benefits counseling and chore services. Caregivers can use their education program to gain new skills and their support program to find groups and community services to help them with their job. You can call (214) 871-5065 for more information.
If you are a veteran you can get health care services through the VA health care system and if you have a family member providing your care, they can also use the VA system to get supportive services. These services include:
Peer support groups where caregivers can meet and share advice and encouragement
24/7 hotline that can help with numerous problems whenever you need them
Caregiver Support Coordinator who is a trained specialist that will match you with services you need
Home health care such as a homemaker or a home health aide
Adult day care and respite care when you need a break
Telehealth system that helps seniors get the medical care they need even if they can’t leave the house
If you want to learn more about these programs, you can call the Dallas VA Health Center at (214) 742-8387.
Through the Department of Aging and Disability Service, caregivers can find respite care programs in your area for the times when you need to take a break. They can also help you find Medicaid covered services, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket expenses. You can call (800) 252-9240 to learn more about this program.
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