Being a caregiver for a family member often means putting the needs and health of others before yourself and while it can be rewarding to take care of a loved one it can also be tiring and draining. More and more seniors are relying on family members to provide care and because of the growing number of caregivers, companies, governments, and local groups are making sure that there are plenty of resources available. It’s important to take care of yourself and realize you won’t be able to do everything all of the time and that’s why you should take advantage of the many programs San Jose has to offer caregivers.
San Jose is part of the Northern California chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and can use the programs and support systems they have in place for caregivers. Whether you’re a first-time caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s or you have been doing this for years you can find help through a few of their services.
San Jose is home to eight different support groups in the Bay Area. These groups meet at various times throughout the month and give caregivers the chance to meet with their peers and share stories, tips, knowledge, and experience with each other. There are a variety of locations so you can find one close to you and there are even a few support groups for those who speak a different language.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers a lot of different educational classes to help inform and educate the public about the disease. They also have educational classes for caregivers that can help them be better at their job and prepare for the challenges they might face. There are a few different classes that the Northern California chapter offers and you can find a schedule here.
The Savvy Caregiver series is a six-week course for caregivers and goes beyond the introductory classes usually offered. This course will provide clinical-level training for family members and will prepare you to handle all the complications that can come with Alzheimer’s and dementia. You must attend all 6 classes in order to graduate successfully from the course.
Sourcewise acts as the area agency on aging for Santa Clara County and San Jose. They are also a great resource for local caregivers and can give you access to many different programs. You can find adult day care centers and other respite care options if you need a break, you can find caregiving training courses or counseling services, and you can even find local caregiver support groups based on the type of care you provide. You can contact a community resource specialist at 408-350-3200 for more information.
San Jose veterans and their caregivers can find services and support through the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. There are three different medical centers in the Northern California Area and there is also a San Jose clinic, but all services might not be offered through the clinic. Through Palo Alto’s VA system you can get access to the General Caregiver program which offers:
Education and training Mental health counseling Respite care Other health services
You can also contact the Caregiver Support Line and find more programs that include things like:
Peer Support Mentoring program that allows new caregivers to pair up with veteran caregivers and share support and experience with each other. Local adult day care centers if you need to run errands or take a break. Homemaker services that will help you with chores and errands so you can fully focus on caregiving. Hospice care if needed Skilled in-home health care.
To find out more about these programs and other information you can contact your local Caregiver Support Coordinator at 650-493-5000.
The Santa Clara County Fire Department has come up with a list of senior resources that includes links and information about all the services available to seniors and their caregivers in the area. There are helplines where you can call for non-emergency health information, programs to prevent falls, access to senior centers, and state senior resources. You can call the community office at 408-378-4010 for more information on all the services offered.
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