If you take care of a senior relative, then you know just how difficult a day in the life of a home caregiver can be. Luckily, support groups located throughout San Francisco are on hand to help caretakers overcome the obstacles that they will face as their loved one ages.
The Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter of the National Alzheimer’s Association helps thousands of families living in and around San Francisco to care for a loved one with dementia. Informal caregivers can attend English, Spanish or Mandarin support groups both over the phone and in person to meet new friends and mentors, or they can learn more about Alzheimer’s care through conferences and training programs. Course offerings for caregivers include:
Conversations about Dementia: Learn how to discuss the onset of dementia with your family members in a caring and compassionate manner.
Effective Communication Strategies: Find out the best ways to communicate with your loved one during the early, middle and late stages of dementia.
Legal Planning for Alzheimer’s Disease: Discover how to handle the legal issues your family may face after a relative is diagnosed with dementia.
Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s Disease: Learn about financial strategies that will help you to afford quality long-term care for your loved one.
Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behavior: Learn about common behaviors associated with dementia and how to cope with them.
Living with Alzheimer’s: This 3-part course teaches families how to provide quality care for their loved one through the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Savvy Caregiver Training: Through a 6-part workshop, families learn how to provide clinical level health care at home.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s Community Resource Finder can help you to locate support groups, classes, in-home care options and more within your neighborhood. You can also learn about local services by calling the Alzheimer’s Association Hotline at 1-800-272-3900 or by connecting with other caregivers through the online forums.
The San Francisco Office on the Aging coordinates local services for seniors over the age of 60 and their caregivers. You can visit the office at 1650 Mission Street or call (415) 355-3555 to learn more about senior services provided by San Francisco public agencies and dozens of community-based organizations. Family caregivers can access support services through the Family Caregiver Support Program, including counseling and legal services, educational opportunities and respite care options.
Veterans are not the only ones who are able to benefit from services provided by the VA. Family members who care for a veteran at home can access a variety of caregiver support services through the San Francisco VA Health Care System.
Caregivers can connect with other families who look after a veteran through peer support groups.
Adult day centers care for seniors during business hours, giving caregivers the opportunity to work a day job.
Home respite care programs provide up to 30 days of relief each year for caregivers who need a short vacation.
Telehealth services allow veterans to access VA medical care from the comfort of their own home.
Home-based primary care and skilled home nursing care services allow housebound veterans to receive the medical attention that they need without leaving their home.
Homemaker services and home health aides help caregivers to juggle their personal life with their caregiving responsibilities. VA home hospice services allow veterans to live out their final days in the company of loved ones instead of in a hospital.
You can contact your nearest Caregiver Support Coordinator or reach a representative at 1-855-260-3274 for advice, information and assistance when navigating the VA claims system.
Are you having trouble finding support services in your area? The California Department of Aging can help you to locate nearby, affordable assistance whenever you or your loved one needs a hand. Families can find services ranging from Medi-Cal certified adult day health centers to in-home health care options. Call 1-800-510-2020 to reach the department’s Senior Information Line.
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