The role of senior caregiving evolves gradually, generally in such a way that requires more time and energy for the caregiver. One in four households provides care for an elderly family member or friend. The baby boomer generation comprises about 54% of the senior caregiving population, as their parents are aging to the point of deteriorating health. While baby boomers find themselves needing to care for aging parents, they are fully in the role of taking care of their own families. Caring for aging parents, raising children, nurturing marriages, and responding to the demands of a career can create an environment that is ripe for stress and primary caregiver health concerns.
The Area Agency on Aging of Dane County serves seniors age 60 and over and the family members who care for them. The agency is the designated County Aging Unit, which is appointed to plan and advocate for development for elderly people. The Area Agency on Aging of Dane County helps seniors maintain quality of life by supporting their choices for living in the community. The agency also expands the community network by connecting seniors, public and private service providers, organizations, and elected representatives.
The Area Agency on Aging of Dane County performs an assessment to determine the type and duration of services that the senior needs to remain living in the community. This might mean short-term services, such as signing up for programs and services. It may also mean long-term planning, such as coordinated, on-going case management support for a senior who is frail or has a chronic health impairment. A sampling of the services that they provide includes congregate meals, home-delivered meals, caregiver support, case management, information, and education. Many of the programs are provided free of charge, though donations are accepted and appreciated.
Many caregivers are so focused on caring for others that they neglect care for themselves. When senior caregivers start to feel stressed and burned out, it’s a good time to look for support for the caregiver so that they remain physically and emotionally strong enough to continue their caregiving duties.
The National Family Caregiver Support Program( (NFCSP) was developed through the Administration on Aging through the Older Americans Act. NFCSP serves elderly people age 60 and over, as well as anyone who lives with Alzheimer’s disease and symptoms of dementia. The program provides senior caregivers with information, support, and resources for respite care, transportation, adult day care, information, education, and support. The counselors and programs help caregivers find help and solutions to their most pressing and stressful challenges.
The Area Agency on Aging of Dane County offers a number of monthly support groups. Call the Area Agency on Aging at (608) 261-9930 to find the dates, times, and locations of the groups that are currently meeting.
The agency also provides education and information in the areas of caring for the elderly and signs and symptoms of common issues related to elder caregiving for groups, organizations, employers, churches, and individuals.
The agency also offers a library of helpful books and videos for the public to rent or check out.
Find assisted living in Madison near you.