Some of the hardest and most important work completed on a daily basis in society is done by family caregivers. As the population of the nation ages and more family members care for their loved ones, there are more support services being offered by city and county agencies, states, non-profit groups, and health care systems in the area. Not only is it alright to take regular time off from caregiving, it’s recommended for the wellbeing of the caregiver. Here are 4 excellent resources that provide support for caregivers in Tampa Bay.
The social engagement programs are designed to be a social engagement group for people affected by dementia to get out of the house and have a chance to connect florida Gulf Coast
The Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the national non-profit the Alzheimer’s Association provides services to 17 counties on the Gulf Coast, including Hillsborough. Their services include support groups, services to patients with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones, educational programming, and other public services. There are several ways a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s can find help from the Association.
The Caregiver's Day Out program is offered annually where a fun activity or event is planned for a day and respite care is provided to loved ones while a caregiver can take the day off. In Tampa, the Expressive Memories program at the Old Hyde Park Art Center is an opportunity for adults with early-onset dementia to create art while their caregivers stay on-site. Support is always available to caregivers through the Alzheimer’s Association by phone at (800) 272-3900 and on their website through the community forums.
Caregivers searching for in-person support groups can choose from several in the area. Memorial Hospital in Tampa hosts a monthly group for early stage patients, as do The United Methodist Church of Sun City Center and Campo Family YMCA. To find the group closest to your location, go to the Community Resource Finder, select the option for “Alzheimer’s Association Programs and Events,” and then choose “Support Groups.”
Hillsborough County adults age 60 and above, and their caregivers can call the Elder Helpline at the West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging (also known as the Senior Connection Center) at 800-96-ELDER for information on programs available in the area. The Center’s mission is to connect senior adults and their caregivers with resources, services, and programs in the community to provide the assistance that they need to age with dignity.
Family caregivers of veterans can access support and services through VA Caregiver Support out of the Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa. Support services can include:
Support groups with peers- exchange information and ideas with other caregivers
National hotline- Call (855) 260-3274 for information and support
Adult day centers- connect to facilities in your area who can provide care during the workday
In-home respite care
In-home primary care- medical care for caregivers who care for a homebound loved one
Home health aide, homemaker, and skilled nursing care in-home to lighten the workload of the caregiver
In-home hospice care
To find out more about programs and services that your loved one may qualify for, call the Tampa caregivers support coordinator at 813-972-2000.
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs can connect you with Tampa-area providers of respite and support services. They can also provide you with details on the Medicaid programs that may pay for respite care for your loved one. For more information, call the Hillsborough County Elder Helpline number at 800-336-2226.
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