Caregivers play a critical role in the life of many seniors, and as the population ages, caregiver services are growing rapidly. Many seniors turn to their family members for caregiving and while it can be a rewarding job it is also a challenging task especially if you have your own family to care for along with your elderly loved one. Luckily, many cities and nonprofit groups offer a variety of caregiver support services to help make your job easier.
The Alzheimer’s Association does a good job of providing extra support for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a complicated disease, and it takes a toll on everyone around. It’s important to make sure you take care of yourself so you can take care of your loved ones. The Central chapter of Arizona Alzheimer’s Association serves three counties, including Maricopa, and provides plenty of caregiver support in various ways.
Education is important especially when it comes to being a caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient. The Central chapter of Arizona has a variety of educational courses offered throughout the year. You can learn the basics of the disease, tips on how to effectively communicate, and even helpful strategies for dealing with the holidays. These classes meet in various locations and at different times so check the calendar to find a course near you.
A simple but effective way to get support is by joining a support group. Group meetings are a place where caregivers can come together to share ideas, knowledge, and support as you all go through difficult times. It’s also a nice way to get a little break from your duties, and some groups will even offer free respite care. You can check the schedule to find the time and place of the meeting closest to you.
Art has often been a form of therapy and release and the Expressions program offered through all the Arizona chapters is an excellent way to connect with others. Through various forms of art like paintings, poems, and stories, you can see how others are coping with the disease and help express your emotions in your own way.
The local area agency on aging is another great resource for caregivers. You can find support groups for every type of caregiver, whether you care for someone with cancer or with Alzheimer’s. They also have a list of multiple caregiver resource zones around the county so you can find extra help with your duties. You can call 602-264-4357 for more information or download their free Elder Resource Guide to find more services in your town.
Veterans and their caregivers have a lot of resources available to them to help out with a variety of services. While the center is located in Phoenix, many of these services can be found closer to your town. Services can include:
Peer support groups that can help new caregivers learn the ropes from experienced caregivers
A hotline that is available to help with anything you need
Caregiver Support Coordinator- A trained specialist who can match services to your needs
Telehealth system that helps housebound seniors get the care they need
In-home health care services like a home health aide or homemaker
To learn more about these services, you need to call the Caregiver Coordinator at (602) 277-5551.
As a family caregiver, you might not be getting paid to care for your loved one, or you aren’t able to take care of them all day because you have a full-time job. The Family Caregiver Support Program can help provide assistance to caregivers through programs like meal delivery or transportation to appointments or even respite care so you can take a break. You can contact the area agency on aging for more information and see if you’re eligible for the program.
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