As our population gets older and baby boomers enter retirement age the need for caregivers has gone up dramatically. Many caregivers are family members who have taken on the extra duties of providing care for their loved ones and this can be a tough job. Luckily, there are plenty of programs and services that caregivers can use to make their job easier and allow them to get the support and rest they need to provide the best care to their relatives. Here are just a few of the resources you can find in Wichita.
Wichita is home to a chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and they have a few different ways caregivers, as well as those who have Alzheimer’s, can get information, resources, and support to help care for and fight this disease.
You can get involved with any one of the numerous support groups that are offered throughout Wichita. There are groups for the early stages of care and if you’re new to caregiving and there are specifically for caregivers where you can share knowledge and tips on how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s. Some of these support groups offer care for those with Alzheimer’s during the meeting so you don’t have to worry about finding someone to watch your family member.
The Peer-to-Peer support line is another good resource for caregivers and allows you to talk to other caregivers who are going through the same thing you are. Peers who work at the support line can answer your questions about the disease and how to care for it, offer educational tools and workshops, and share their own experiences so you don’t feel so alone. The Caregiver Support line is open Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Wichita chapter also offers the Alzheimer’s Workplace Alliance program. This program gives companies and employers complimentary resources to offer to their employees that might be taking care of a family member with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
You can contact the Central Plains Area Agency On Aging for services and programs offered through the county for caregivers and seniors. They have an informational DVD, that can be checked out through their lending service that shows you what it takes to be an effective caregiver. They also have a Family Caregiver Support program that provides counseling, education, transportation, support groups, and respite care for families that are taking care of a relative.
This VA medical center is located in Wichita and has a whole list of programs for caregivers taking care of veteran family members. You can gain access to things like:
Caregiver Support Line that allows you to call with any questions you might have and connects you with the proper resources for your situation.
Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring program that will connect you with a peer mentor who can help you with your caregiving duties and offer their experience, knowledge, and support.
Access to adult day care centers where you can take your loved one if you need to run errands or go to an appointment.
Help from a Caregiver Support Coordinator that will match you with all the services you’re eligible for.
In-home respite care
Homemaker services that allow you to focus your attention fully on your family member.
All you have to do to find these services is contact the Caregiver Support line at Robert J. Dole VA Medical center by calling 316-685-2221.
There are also support services through your local Department on Aging. Sedgwick County offers caregiver support resources like nutritional services, adult day centers, home modifications for those with disabilities, community assessments to screen for mental health issues, and many other health services for seniors and their caregivers. You can contact the director, Annette Graham, at 316-660-1990 for more information.
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