Family caregivers are responsible for completing some of the more difficult, and most important work in society. The population of the nation is aging and more family members are being tasked with providing care for their loved ones. This evolution means that county, city and state agencies as well as non-profit groups and health care systems in the Pittsburgh area are offering more support services to meet the demand. Caregivers are encouraged to take time off from their responsibilities when they need it to preserve their well being. These 4 resources in Pittsburgh can give needed support to caregivers in a variety of ways.
The Pittsburgh office of the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Pennsylvania serves a dozen counties throughout the state and provides support to patients and caregivers in those counties. Included among their services are support groups at locations throughout the city, educational programs online for caregivers, events, fundraisers, and other opportunities to interact with the community. Here are just a few programs the Alzheimer’s Association provides that provide assistance to caregivers. The ELearning programs are available online through the Alzheimer’s Association and can provide caregivers with knowledge and information to help manage any stage of the disease.
Art engagement programs provide gallery tours at places like Maslow Study Gallery at Marywood University, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Andy Warhol Museum/ADRC to seniors with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers with the goal of making art accessible and potentially evoking memories or emotions in patients with the disease.
Caregivers have continual access to help by calling the help hotline at (800) 272-3900 or visiting the community forums on the Alzheimer’s Association site.
Caregivers interested in meeting in-person for a support group have several area options. Manor Care, The Alzheimer’s Outreach House, St. Margaret Classic Care & Hospital, Anathan Club, Jewish Family & Children's Services, Juniper Village, and Beulah Presbyterian Church are just a few of the dozens of locations where you can find a group in Pittsburgh. To determine which group is most convenient to you, search the Community Resource Finder by clicking the button “Alzheimer’s Association Programs and Events,” and then entering your zip code and selecting “Support Groups.”
Caregivers of adults who are 60 years of age or older and live in Allegheny County have access to a number of caregiver support programs through the Allegheny Area Agency on Aging. They administer the Caregivers First Initiative, a free six-month program where caregivers meet one-on-one with a coach to discuss managing stress, overcoming challenges, and ways to connect to resources in the community. The Agency also help determine if you’re eligible for financial assistance through the Family Caregiver Support Program and connect you with other valuable providers and resources in the Pittsburgh area.
Caregivers who are looking after the needs of a veteran can contact VA Caregiver Support to access services and benefits for their loved one. Assistance they may be eligible to receive includes:
Interaction with peers through online support groups Assistance by dialing the national hotline at (855) 260-3274 Care during the workday provided by Adult Day Centers in Pittsburgh Respite care for caregivers provided in-home
In-home medical care for caregivers who are unable to transport their loved one for primary care appointments Assistance in-home with the caregiving load from a home health aide, homemaker, or skilled nursing care provider Hospice care at home
The local caregivers support coordinator can be reached at 412-822-2222 for more information on programs available to you and your loved one.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging can match you with respite care and support services in the Pittsburgh area. They are also the best place to inquire about Medicaid programs that could cover the cost of respite care for your loved one. To learn more, visit their website or call your local Area Agency on Aging at 800-581-9145.
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