How to get FREE help. What?!
Free respite care?! Free recommendations on eldercare?? How, what, why, when, where?
The National Family Caregiving Assistance Program was created to address the needs of caregivers, and to ease caregiver stress in our country. This would have been great to know about when I was taking care of my mom. It could have paid for respite care that we desperately needed on more than one occasion! Unfortunately, I just found out about it last week. But - now you know, if you are reading this!! The program is funded through Health and Human Services to local state governments. It gives states resources to provide:
- information to caregivers about available services,
- assistance to caregivers in gaining access to the services,
- individual counseling, organization of support groups, and caregiver training,
- respite care, and
- supplemental services, on a limited basis
Eligible parties are:
- Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 and older providing care to individuals 60 years of age and older;
- Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 and older providing care to individuals of any age with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (this was me);
- Grandparents and other relatives (not parents) 55 years of age and older providing care to children under the age of 18; and
- Grandparents and other relatives (not parents) 55 years of age and older providing care to adults age 18-59 with disabilities.
You have to contact your local Agency on Aging and ask how to apply. According to recent data, only 2% of family caregivers ever uses these services. Lets change that!! Call your local agency on aging and ask about the program, today!
If you're interested - theres a petition created by Denise Brown at www.caregiving.come to increase funding and remove age restrictions to this program!! Sign it here!!
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Caregiving is usually uncharted territory for EVERYONE at first. Use these resources to address your needs, and take advantage of programs out there to serve you, the caregiver!