Today there are more and more family members providing care to their elderly loved ones than before. With baby boomers rapidly reaching retirement age and needing help with their health, this isn’t a strange occurrence but it has caused many companies, governments, and local agencies to offer more support services for caregivers. If you’re a caregiver you shouldn’t feel bad about needing a break or asking for help because this can be a draining job and you want to make sure you’re offering your best for your relative. Use some of these services offered in Pittsburgh to make your job easier and more effective.
Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other forms of memory loss can be devastating not only to the patient but their family members as well. If you provide care for someone with Alzheimer’s you need all the extra help and support you can get. The Greater Pennsylvania Area chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has a few tools that can make your job run smoothly and provide the best care for you and your family member.
Support groups are an excellent way to lighten the emotional and mental toll that caregiving can bring. There are meetings in dozens of locations all over Pittsburgh and they meet at different times and days of the week so you can be sure to find one near you that fits your schedule. A few meeting places also offer respite care so you don’t have to leave your loved one alone to attend. During these meetings, you can connect with other caregivers and share your knowledge and struggles and learn more about how to effectively care for Alzheimer’s patients.
If you can’t make it to a meeting you can connect with others and get support through the 24/7 helpline or the online community message boards and support groups. The helpline is always open and they operate in 140 different languages so you can call with whatever you need. The online support groups meet on various online locations and at different times so you can get help at any time. The Alzheimer’s Association also offers a certification course called essentiALZ that can help prepare anyone to care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. This course is offered in a few different locations and does have varying costs based on the type of certification you need.
The Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging is an excellent resource for caregivers. You can find local adult day care centers as well as caregiver training sessions to be an effective caregiver. They also take care of the Family Caregiver Support program that helps you meet the challenges you might face while taking care of a family member. There is also a list of local and national caregiving resources on their website that can help you with your duties. To learn more about their Family Caregiver Support program and other services you can call 412-350-4636.
Veterans and their caregivers can use the services provided by the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. There are two different locations in Pittsburgh and there is also a shuttle service if you need transportation to the medical centers. Caregivers of veterans are eligible to use the support programs offered by the VA and these are things like:
Caregiver Support helpline that is available to answer your questions about programs, services, and also offer a listening ear if it’s needed.
Caregiver Support Coordinator that can help match you with all the programs you and your veteran are eligible for.
Peer Support Mentoring program matches caregivers with each other so they can share their knowledge and experience with each other.
Caregivers can also use a variety of caregiving services through the VA to make their job a little easier. These services include:
Adult VA Day Care Centers Respite care Home-based primary care if your veteran can’t leave the house to get medical care. Skilled home care Homemaker services that will take care of your daily chores leaving you to care for your loved one. Hospice care
Call your local Caregiver Support Coordinator at 412-822-2222 to get more information about these programs.
Pennsylvania also has a caregiver support program that you can use if you are caring for a spouse, relative, or friend that needs around the clock care. It also helps adults 55 and older who are caring for a disabled child. You can get a care manager to coordinate all kinds of care and make sure you’re eligible for different services. There also links to various resources throughout the state for caregivers and their families.
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