Many seniors rely on the care that their family members can provide and being a caregiver is no small task. You have to make sure that all of the needs of your loved one are met so that their health doesn’t suffer and when you add in your regular responsibilities to the mix, things can start to feel overwhelming. You don’t have to do everything on your own though and asking for help doesn’t make you a bad caregiver, in fact, it makes you a smart one. Richmond offers a variety of programs and services to help caregivers with their job and here are just a few you can use.
Caring for any elderly or disabled family member can be tough but Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other forms of memory loss can be especially difficult. That’s why it’s important for caregivers to reach out and find all the support and resources they can. The Greater Richmond Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has a few services you can use to ease your burden and find support with other caregivers.
Just attending one support group meeting per month can help caregivers destress and share their struggles with other caregivers. There are dozens of meeting places all over the Richmond area and they meet at different times so you can find one that fits into your schedule. At the meetings, you will be able to talk with other caregivers, share tips, resources, experience, and knowledge and get the support of people who know exactly what you’re going through.
The Alzheimer’s Association also offers a variety of classes and programs that can help caregivers with their duties. Whether you’re a first-time caregiver and your relative has been recently diagnosed or you’re a long-time caregiver and you know the ropes, there is a class that can help prepare and equip you for the job you have. You do have to RSVP for some meetings but most are free of charge and open to the public.
You can also get care consultation services through the Greater Richmond area chapter and these are especially helpful if you’re new to caregiving. You can get these services over the phone, through email, or in-person and receive an assessment of needs, help with care planning and problem solving, and a supportive ear. There is also the 24/7 helpline that you can call at any time to get help with services or any questions you might have.
Senior Connections serves as the capitol’s Area Agency on Aging for Richmond and it’s residents. Through this group, you can find even more caregiver support resources including information about assistive services, counseling, support groups, and respite care. You and your family member could also qualify for supplemental services and that would include things like home modifications, emergency response systems, and assistive technology. Call 804-343-3000 to talk to a long term care ombudsman staff member.
Veterans and their caregivers can get caregiver support services through their local VA medical center located in Richmond. The Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center has several services just for caregivers.
You can call the Caregiver Support Line to get your questions answered, learn more about services for your veteran and you, and just talk to someone if you need a listening ear.
You can find a Caregiver Support Coordinator who can help match you with the different services that you’re eligible for.
Sign up for the Peer Support Mentoring program that pairs up caregivers so they can mentor each other and share support, experiences, and knowledge to make their jobs easier.
Locate adult day care centers or respite care for the times you can’t be with your loved one. Whether that’s because you have an appointment, errands to run, or just need a little break.
Get homemaker services that will take care of daily chores and errands so you can focus on your caregiving duties.
Find skilled in-home care or even hospice care if that’s what you need.
In order to use these services, all you have to do is call your local Caregiver Support Coordinator at 804-675-5000.
You can find more resources for seniors as well as a list of caregiver support websites through the Virginia Division for the Aging. You can call them at 804-662-9333.
Find assisted living in Richmond near you.