Family members who provide care for their elderly relatives are growing in large numbers due to an aging population and baby boomers entering retirement age. Caregiving is a big job and it often takes a lot of resources and help to make sure that your loved one is cared for. You don’t have to feel guilty if you need to ask for help because there is no way that you can do it on your own 100% of the time. Luckily, companies, government agencies, and local groups are expanding their caregiver support programs so that you can do your job even better. Nashville has plenty to offer caregivers when it comes to support and education.
When someone you love has Alzheimer’s it can be very difficult to handle, especially if you’re their primary caregiver. It’s crucial that you know all the resources at your disposal because you’re going to want all the help and support that you can get. The Mid-South chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has a few programs and services you should look into.
If you’re new to caregiving and your relative has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of memory loss, education is going to be your best tool. Through the Alzheimer’s Association, the Mid-South chapter has a few educational programs that can help you learn about the disease as well as how to effectively care for your loved one. Some of these programs include the warning signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia, living with Alzheimer’s as a caregiver, and financial planning. Check the local calendar to see when and where these programs are offered.
Support groups are another important component of being a caregiver. There are at least a dozen support groups that meet in the Nashville area and because they meet at different times you should be able to find one that works for you. At these meetings, you can connect with other caregivers to share your struggles and knowledge as well as resources so you don’t feel so alone in your job.
The Alzheimer’s Association also had a great online support community so even if you can’t make it to a meeting in your area you can go online and connect with others on message boards, group hangouts, and even call the 24/7 helpline.
Caregivers can also visit the Greater Nashville Area Agency on Aging and Disability to find resources for their loved ones and themselves. The agency has a family caregiver support program that can connect caregivers to information and assistance as well as educational workshops. You can also find information about respite care, senior centers, and other services that might benefit your family and yourself. You can call 615-862-8829 to get more information and find out if you’re eligible for these services.
The Tennessee Valley VA healthcare system is a good resource for local veterans as well as their caregivers. There are two locations, one of them in Nashville, that offer caregiver support and programs. You can access things like:
Caregiver Support Coordinators who make it easier to navigate the VA system by showing you what programs you’re eligible for. They can also give you the best information and resources for your circumstances.
Caregiver Support Line which allows you to call and get any information about caregiving or VA services answered. They can also just listen if that is what you need at the moment.
Peer Support Mentoring Program which is a good way to learn about caregiving and to support other caregivers in the community. You will pair up with another caregiver to share experiences and support.
There are also some special services that VA caregivers can use to help their loved ones. Services include:
Adult Day Care and Respite Care
Home health aides
Skilled In-Home care
Your local Caregiver Support Coordinator can help you with all of these services, just call at 615-327-4751.
The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability also offers family caregiver support programs as well as online educational classes. You can take the caregiver boot camp which can help you learn about taking care of yourself as well as your family members. There is also caregiving 101 and 102 which cover some of the problems and issues you might run into while taking care of your family member. You can view the classes on their website or call 615-741-2056 to learn more.
Find assisted living in Nashville near you.