As a caregiver, you need to learn how to juggle a variety of tasks and make sure that the health of your loved one remains at the top of your list. As the number of people who need help start to grow and as they rely more and more on their families for care, the number of caregivers grows as well. It’s ok to feel like you can’t do it all by yourself and to reach out for help because there are plenty of tools and resources you can use to be a more effective caregiver. Here are just a few of the services available in Tampa.
Being a caregiver for a family member with Alzheimer’s or some other form of memory loss can be a grueling task and it’s important to reach out for support and information. The Alzheimer’s Association does a great job of providing resources not only to patients with Alzheimer’s but their caregivers too. The Florida Gulf Coast chapter offers great programs just for caregivers.
A support group might seem like a simple thing but it can be a big help for caregivers. There are numerous meetings throughout the Tampa area and they each occur on different days at different times. These meetings allow caregivers to get together to talk about their struggles, experience, and knowledge of caregiving as well as share information, tips, and resources. There are a few meetings that provide free respite care at the same facility as the meeting so you can attend and not have to worry about leaving your family member alone.
If you can’t make it to a meeting, there are also online support systems for caregivers. You can find information about senior housing, create an online calendar for families and other caregivers so you can coordinate care for your loved one, and you can even join in on the message boards for caregivers.
The Gulf Coast chapter also hosts a Caregiver’s Day Out where each chapter plans out an activity for caregivers like going to a ball game or going on a lunchtime cruise. Local community providers donate free respite care services so caregivers can enjoy the day off without worry.
The Senior Connection Center works as the Tampa Area Agency on Aging and can provide helpful tools and services for seniors and their caregivers. You can find out more about free transportation services, meal services, various healthy living services, and connect on the elder helpline. You can learn more by calling 800-963-5337.
Veterans and their caregivers can seek support and services through the VA health system and the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital located in Tampa. Among their many services for veterans they also have a wide variety of caregiver services. These include things like:
Caregiver Support Helpline where you can call to find more information on services or just talk to a professional about your duties.
Peer Support Mentoring Program which connects caregivers in the area to each other and allows caregivers who are new to the job to learn from more seasoned caregivers and gain knowledge and resources.
Access to adult day care programs, skilled home care, and respite care for times when you need to take a break or take care of errands and other appointments.
Hospice care if it’s needed.
Homemaker services that allow you to focus on your family member while your daily chores are taken care of.
To find out more about the services and see if you’re eligible all you have to do is contact your local Caregiver Support Coordinator at 813-972-2000.
Another place for caregivers to look for some extra help is the Hillsborough County Aging services. You can find more information on in-home health services, locations of local adult day care centers, meal services, and you can enroll to get a case manager to take care of all senior health care needs. You can call at 813-272-5250 to find out more about these services and see if you’re eligible.
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