Caregiving for a family member seems so natural that most people don’t think of it as a formal role, until the duties of caregiving become stressful and overwhelming. Family caregivers often feel isolated and alone, but they aren’t. Family caregivers provide 85% of all long term care services. The estimated costs of the services that family members provide would cost state and federal agencies $45 to $94 billion per year.
While family caregivers provide large savings to publicly funded services, state and federal governments have also realized that caregivers need respite and assistance in order for them to continue performing the stressful tasks of caregiving for the long term. The state of Minnesota offers many services for caregivers, which saves state money and allows seniors to have qualify of life in the community for as long as possible.
The state of Minnesota offers a free phone line that serves as the first responder for senior caregivers who need information and education about senior-based services. The Minnesota Board on Aging offers a toll-free number of (800) 333-2433 that serves caregivers throughout the state. The Senior LinkAge Line® is open during normal business hours. Caregivers can be directed to local services for help with: Medicare application and information
Prescription drug expense assistance
Health insurance counseling
Help filling out forms
Long-term care insurance and the Long-term Care Partnership
Long-term care planning
Caregiver planning and support
Grandparents raising grandchildren
Regardless of income, every Minnesota resident is entitled to a free Long-term Care Consultation. The Senior LinkAge Line® can also arrange for direct care services like home care, housekeeping, chore services, meal delivery, nutrition education and assistance, transportation, and transitional consultations.
The Minnesota Department of Health Services offers regular trainings for seniors and their caregivers to support evidence-based best practices in senior care. Most of the trainings are offered via video conference for the convenience of residents. Most sessions offer a DVD of the session to be used as future reference. Interested individuals may view current or previous sessions or register for trainings at the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
There are four Dakota Native American Indian tribes in and around the Minneapolis area. The Minnesota Board on Aging’s American Indian Elder Desk helps to improve access to care and services for Native Americans who reside in urban Indian communities and on reservations. The board works directly with Indian elders to develop culturally sensitive programs for the Indian elderly population.
The Indian Elder Desk helped to develop a culturally based preventative health promotion program for American Indian elders, called Wisdom Steps. The program fosters community and tribal partnerships. Indian Elder Desk coordinates resources to increase advocacy and access to services such as health screenings, health education, services, and healthy living activities. Indian Elder Desk offers incentives to elderly Native Americans to encourage participation in the program. Native American seniors or their caregivers may find out more about the program by calling (800) 333-2433.
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