Family caregivers are becoming a more popular option for many seniors because they feel more comfortable at home surrounded by people they know. As the population ages quickly the number of caregivers has grown exponentially and new caregivers might find themselves overwhelmed with their tasks. If you are a family caregiver, you have a wealth of options when it comes to supportive services in your area and you don’t need to feel guilty to ask for help or take a break. Both of these things can make you a better caregiver for your loved one.
Alzheimer’s and dementia are the two most common types of diseases that require a caregiver, and they can also be some of the hardest to handle. The Alzheimer’s Association has chapters all over the country, and each one has plenty of supportive services to offer caretakers. The Georgia coastal region serves 19 different counties, including Chatham County.
A support group is an easy way to connect with other caregivers who are going through similar experiences. These weekly meetings give caregivers a chance to share encouragement, experience, and advice with each other. Some meetings also offer free respite care so it can also act like a little break in caregiving duties. You can also find support groups online through ALZConnected and via telephone through the A Time To Talk Program.
The Georgia coastal chapter also offers online educational resources that can help caregivers with their job. There are worksheets on different activities for people with dementia or how to “build a day” when you’re living with dementia. You can also go to classes that will help you learn how to be a better caregiver and provide for your family member.
You can also find local Alzheimer’s resources like adult day care, respite care, home care, and more through the website. All of these services are geared towards seniors who have Alzheimer’s or dementia so you can make sure that your family member gets the specific care they need.
The local area agency on aging can be a helpful tool for caregivers and has a wealth of information on services in the area. They can also help you find different programs like home based services such as home health aides, meals on wheels, assistive equipment loan program, minor home repair, and various activities and outings in the area. These can all be very helpful to a family caregiver, and all you need to do is call (912) 437-0800.
Veterans can get a variety of services with the VA and so can their caregivers. The VA health system in Savannah offers a broad range of supportive services for caregivers such as:
A national hotline to help with any problem or question
Peer groups for caregivers to get advice and encouragement from each other
Caregiver Support Coordinator- A trained specialist who will match services to your needs
Homemakers and home health aides
Respite care services when you need a break
Adult day care
Telehealth system- A program for seniors who need medical care but can’t get out of the house
To learn more about these programs or find services in your area, you should call the Caregiver Coordinator at (912) 920-0214.
Family caregivers can also enroll in the National Family Caregiver Support Program. This program is run through the local area agency on aging, and it can provide assistance to caregivers for things they need to do their job. They might help with transportation to appointments, or they might aid in respite care services. You can contact the area agency on aging to find out if you’re eligible for this program or to learn more information.
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