Physical and psychological well-being go hand in hand. That is a very good reason for senior caregivers to take advantage of respite care and adult day care for aging seniors, so that the stress of senior caregiving doesn’t become overwhelming. Caregivers need to make their own health and emotional stability a priority in order to provide quality care for the long term. Fortunately, San Diego offers more than 30 programs that are funded by over 40 sources to help senior caregivers. The Aging and Independence Services of San Diego combines more services under one umbrella than any other single public or private organization in the county.
Aging & Independence Services (AIS) is the Area Agency on Aging for San Diego, a federally funded program that was created by the Older Americans Act. The agency’s vision is to open the door to senior care and to bring care right to the doorsteps of seniors. AIS offers a wide range of services for seniors and their caregivers. Caregivers may receive help with care coordination, authorization of services, in-home support, adult day care, and transportation. All of these services can help to provide a much needed break for the stressors associated with senior caregiving. The services are mostly provided with no charge. Caregivers can find out more by calling the program at (800) 339-4661.
Caregiving duties often begin by helping an aging loved one with minor tasks like cooking and cleaning. As the elder’s health begins to deteriorate, the senior may need increasingly more help with paying bills, dressing, bathing, and getting around to appointments. When a family member takes over those tasks, whether they realize it or not, they are a caregiver.
The AIS Family Caregiver Support Program exists to help the caregiver by providing them with training, assistance, and respite. The program is funded as a part of the National Caregiver Support Program and is open to adult family caregivers of individuals who are 60 years old or older in San Diego County and grandparents who care for relative minors who are related to them. There is no charge for most services, but the program does appreciate voluntary contributions. Here are some of things that caregivers can get assistance with:
Assistance and linkage with contracted providers
Care management and coordination
Professionally administered support groups and counseling
Caregiver skills training and education
Minor Home Modification (grab bars, safety checks, etc.)
Grandparent caregiver support
Outreach and education
AIS offers a list of adult day care centers in the San Diego area. The adult day care programs give caregivers a break, but they are also helpful for seniors. For seniors who aren’t active enough to participate at one of the many senior centers, adult day programs provide a safe and supervised environment with a stronger ratio of staff support. This environment helps prevent loneliness and isolation for the senior and gives the caregiver a day off.
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