Being the primary caregiver for a family member is a tough job, but it’s an important one. As a nation, we see more people aging and needing care daily and often times, family members are being asked to provide a loved one with needed care. This reality means that at a county, city, and state level programs and services are being developed to help caregivers, and Richmond non-profit groups and healthcare systems have resources as well. To manage wellbeing, caregivers are encouraged to take respite time away from their loved ones, and to ask for help when they need it. In Richmond, these are 4 resources who have options that can help caregivers provide the best quality of life for their loved ones, and themselves.
The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Richmond has a service area of 23 counties in the area and offers a variety of support, education, and resources to patients and caregivers through their programs. Caregivers have access to in-person and online educational events, support groups for themselves and for their loved ones with dementia, events, fundraisers, and other opportunities in the community. Here is a sampling of services available in Richmond.
There are a number of upcoming Education Programs and seminars in the Richmond area for caregivers and patients alike. Some of the topics include, “Dementia Conversations and Basics of Alzheimer’s For Caregivers and Family of Dementia Patients,” “Know the 10 Signs” and “Navigating the Maze of Memory Care" For help anytime you need it, caregivers can call help hotline at (800) 272-3900 or use resources within the Alzheimer’s Association online community by checking out the community forums.
There are over a dozen different support groups that meet in-person in the Richmond area that provide resources and friendly faces to caregivers. Held at locations throughout the city like First Union Baptist Church, Good Shepherd Baptist Church, and St. Mary's Hospital, these groups meet weekly or monthly and have a coordinator on site to lead the discussion and answer questions. To find the group that’s nearby to your location, use the online Community Resource tool. First, click “Alzheimer’s Association Programs and Events,” and then enter your zip code and select “Support Groups” to see a listing in your area.
The Capital Area Agency on Aging administers a number of support services for caregivers who look after an adult ages 60 years or older. Contact them to get more information about services available in the Richmond area or for assistance with accessing support services. They offer counseling on an individual and support group basis, as well as training for caregivers to help facilitate problem solving and decision making in care choices for loved ones. They also have respite care resources and can assist with referrals to supplemental services for older adults, like modifications to the home or installing emergency response systems.
Veteran seniors have access to a number of benefits through the VA, and so do their family caregivers. The VA has an entire division of Caregiver Support services that can include things like:
Online support groups
Over the phone assistance by calling the national hotline at (855) 260-3274
Adult Day Care options during the Monday to Friday workweek in Richmond
Respite care in the home to give caregivers time off from their duties
Home health aide, skilled nursing, or homemaker care provided in the home to help out with the caregiving responsibility
Hospice care at home
To speak with your local caregiver support coordinator about available benefits, eligibility, and to set up services call 804-675-5000.
The Virginia Division for the Aging is the state resource who manages the local Area on Aging and can be a good contact to help you find support and services in the Richmond area. They can also assist with answering questions about eligibility and requirements for the Medicaid programs that may cover the cost of respite care for your family member. Contact them directly at 1-800-552-3402.
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