Who are family caregivers?
Individuals don’t readily identify themselves as caregivers. They are husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends and neighbors who provide support to people they care about. Unless a sudden accident or illness occurs the family caregiver role generally evolves over time and can gradually turn into a time-consuming responsibility that may become stressful. Informal family care support ranges from running errands and helping with shopping and light housekeeping to dependency with daily needs such as bathing, dressing, toileting and feeding. Family caregivers also provide their care recipients with the much needed emotional support essential for healing and coping with long-term disabilities, degenerative diseases, chronic or terminal illnesses. Caregivers often need support to help navigate health care systems, learn about various care provider networks, and identify resources available in their communities to help them through their caregiver journey.
The Family Caregiver Support Program provides:
o Information to caregivers about available programs and services
o Assistance in gaining access to services
o Individual counseling, support groups and trainings to assist caregivers
o Temporary and limited respite for caregivers
o Supplemental services (on a limited basis) to complement the care provided
Caregivers must be:
o An adult family member or another individual who is an informal or unpaid provider of in-home community care to someone over 60 years of age or to an individual with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder with neurological and organic brain dysfunction
o A grandparent or relative caregiver providing care for adult children with a disability, who are between 19 and 59 years of age. These caregivers must be age 55 years and older and cannot be the child’s parent
Caring for someone who is elderly or disabled can be a rewarding experience, but it can also present challenges. We offer information and assistance to help family caregivers care for their loved one — and themselves. The purpose of support groups is to provide an opportunity for family caregivers to meet and develop a mutual support system that will help maintain the health and well being of its members.
Support groups provide an opportunity for members to:
o Exchange practical information on caregiving problems and solutions
o Share feelings, needs and concerns in a supportive, non-threatening and non-judgmental environment
o Familiarize people with local programs and resources available
A Caregiver Support Group meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 1:00-2:30p.m. in Fennimore at the Memorial Building.
Please contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center for more information about the Family Caregiver Support Program and Support Groups 608-723-6113 or 1-800-514-0066.