As the population ages and baby boomers enter retirement, more seniors are starting to rely on family members for their caregiving needs. There is a good chance that if you aren’t already caring for a family member, you will in the future so it’s a good idea to know all of the resources at your disposal. In order to avoid burnout, you want to make sure you ask for help when you need and take advantage of the programs and services available here in Phoenix. These below are just a few of the programs you can use to make yourself a better caregiver and provide for your loved ones.
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis takes a whole community to make sure the needs of the patient are met. Often family members will do most of the caregiving duties themselves and that leaves them vulnerable to burnout and poor health which won’t do their loved ones any good. It’s important to take advantage of a few of these services that the Desert Southwest chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association offers.
Care Partners Reaching Out (CarePRO) is a workshop program that is designed specifically for people who are taking care of family members with Alzheimer’s. You will learn how to manage stress, techniques to cope with the disease, and how to communicate better. You will get access to a personalized telephone “coach” to help you through difficult situations and implement techniques learned through the program. There is a screening process and pre-registration so make sure you sign up.
There is also an annual education conference offered in four different regions of Arizona and it is open to the community as well as health care professionals. These conferences are full days where you can get information, education, and specialist workshops about Alzheimer’s, dementia, and memory loss. They do come with a cost and you have to sign up because seating is limited.
Another way to take care of yourself is to attend a support group in your area. There are six meeting locations in the Phoenix area and they meet at different times to accommodate schedules. You can talk with other caregivers and learn from their experience and struggles how to deal with your own caregiving duties.
The local Area Agency on Aging is another good place for caregivers to look for services, resources, and programs. They can connect you with respite services, meal services, transportation, adult day care, and many more programs that can make your job easier. They also have the Family Caregiver Support Program that will allow you to receive help with your caregiving duties if you meet a few requirements. You can call the 24-hour Senior Helpline at 602-264-4357 for more information.
If your family member is a veteran then you should look into the Phoenix VA Health Care System to see if any of their caregiving services would benefit you. Caregivers can get support through:
Peer Support Mentoring Program which allows you to pair up with another caregiver and learn from their experiences and share resources and support for one another.
Caregiver Support Line- Call whenever you need help with VA services or have questions about caregiving. Even if all you need is someone to listen.
Caregiver Support Coordinator- A trained professional will help match you with all eligible services and provide you with important resources and information.
Caregivers can also use VA services for their loved ones which include:
Respite care Adult day care Skilled in-home care Homemaker services Home health aide Hospice care
All you have to do is call your local Caregiver Support Coordinator at 602-277-5551.
You can also find support for caregivers through the Arizona Department of Aging and Adult Services. They have a Family Caregiver Support Program as well as a program which allows family members providing caregiving services to get paid for their duties. There are a few requirements but to start the application process you can call 602-417-6600.
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