Being a caregiver can mean a lot of different things, but it can also be a very tiring and draining job. More adults are retiring now than ever before, and many of them rely on family members for their care. More caregivers also mean there are more services and resources available and if you’re a caregiver, you should use them. They can help you be a better caregiver and be more effective in your duties. Here are just a few services and groups you can use.
The Alzheimer’s Association has programs and services not only for people living with the disease but for those people caring for their loved ones with the disease. They understand the importance of supporting caregivers in any way possible and provide tools and services to make that happen. The Northwest Ohio Chapter offers programs for 24 counties throughout Ohio, and they have an office in Toledo.
One of the best things any caregiver can do, especially an Alzheimer’s caregiver, is to educate themselves. The Alzheimer’s Association has plenty of educational courses and workshops that family caregivers can attend to learn more about their role. Classes include the basics of Alzheimer’s, traveling with Alzheimer’s, early detection, and much more. You can check the website for times and locations of each class.
The Northwest Ohio Chapter also has an annual educational conference that brings in speakers to lead additional courses and workshops on being a caregiver and other Alzheimer’s related topics. You do have to register ahead of time for these conferences, so check the schedule to make sure you sign up in time.
Support groups are a simple yet powerful tool for caregivers. These meetings allow caregivers to talk and connect with one another and share experiences, support, and knowledge about being a caregiver. Four groups meet in Toledo, and some might offer respite care during meeting times. Call the facilitator to discuss your options.
If you can’t make it to a meeting or need help immediately, you can call the 24-hour helpline at (800) 272-3900 or visit the online caregiver resource center. On the website, you’ll find chat rooms, message boards, and other helpful information whenever you need.
The Area Office on Aging runs a Family Caregiver Support Program that provides tools and resources to make caregivers jobs a little easier. They have a volunteer respite program that gives caregivers a break from their duties, and they also support groups, adult day care, caregiver expos and training workshops, and supplemental services. If you would like to learn more about this program, you can contact the office at (800) 472-7277.
If you care for a veteran, you can take advantage of caregiver services through the VA healthcare system. Caregiver services include things like:
A support line available 24/7 to help with any questions or concerns you may have
Peer-led support groups to connect with other caregivers in your area
Access to a trained Caregiver Support Coordinator who can match services to your needs
Respite care such as adult day care or in-home care services
Home telehealth system which provides medical attention to housebound seniors
Hospice care if it’s needed
You can call the Caregiver Support Coordinator at (734) 769-7100 to find out more information and learn about services that can benefit you.
The Ohio Department of Aging also has some services and programs for caregivers in the state. They run the National Family Caregiver Support Program, and you can also find things like respite care, supplemental programs, and training opportunities in your area. Call (800) 266-4346 to learn more.
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