If you’re new to caregiving, you might not realize how big a job it can be or how drained you might feel at the end of the day. You might also feel like you have to do this on your own or feel a sense of shame if you need to take a break or ask for help but that just isn’t true. You aren’t on your own and it is completely ok to take a break and you should in order to be a better caregiver. There are also tons of resources available to you that will allow you to provide better care and feel like you’re doing the best for your loved one.
Alzheimer’s is a difficult disease both for the patient and their caregivers so it’s important to make use of the many services the Alzheimer’s Association provides caregivers. The Florida Gulf Coast chapter serves 17 counties, has 8 regional offices, and one mobile unit that travels around. Here are a few of the services they give to caregivers in Sarasota.
Taking a break is an important part of making sure you can give your loved one the best care possible. You can attend the Caregiver’s Day Out, which is an annual outing meant to give you a rest from your caregiving duties. You might go to a baseball game, a picnic, or some other social activity. You can contact your region’s office for more information on when this event takes place.
Support groups provide weekly meetings that help caregivers connect with one another and share their knowledge and experience with one another. This is a great way to learn more about caregiving from those who are going through it too as well as a way to take a little break from your duties. Some groups offer respite care so you don’t have to worry about leaving your loved one.
If you can’t make it out of your house to a meeting, there are still plenty of ways to connect with other caregivers online. You can learn new skills through online classes like Care Giving 101, take part in caregiver message boards, coordinate care schedules with family members, and even create a personalized care schedule.
The Friendship Centers are a non-profit organization that have centers throughout Southwest Florida. Along with services for seniors they have an extensive list of services for caregivers. You can use their online resources to find respite care or other senior services in Sarasota or you can even take part in some of their educational workshops. To find out more about their services you can call 941-556-3270.
You might not be a veteran but if you care for one you’re entitled to the VA health system caregiver resources. These services include things like: Peer Support Program- Team up with another caregiver and share support and experience with each other.
Caregiver Support Line- Call anytime you have a question about assistance, services, or just need to talk.
Caregiver Support Coordinator- This trained professional can help you find exactly the service or program you need.
In-home health care like a homemaker or home health aide.
If you need a break you can use respite care or adult day care.
Hospice care and skilled nursing are also available.
If your family member can’t make it out of the house but needs medical attention you can use the home telehealth system.
To learn more about these programs or find out what you’re eligible for, call your caregiver coordinator at 727-398-6661.
Through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, you can enroll in the National Family Caregiver Support Program. You can get assistance like respite care or in-home health care, access to counseling and training, and even find supplemental services. Call the Elder Helpline at 800-963-5337 for more information.
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