What is a Caregiver?
Per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a caregiver is a person who provides direct care. This is a broad definition and really puts everyone into the caregiving category at some point in their lives. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, 53 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months (AARP and National Alliance for Caregiving. Caregiving in the United States 2020. Washington, DC: AARP. May 2020.).
Providing care day in and day out can be tiring and often caregivers grow weary of the mundane tasks. That leads to the questions many caregivers may ask, what options are available to help keep caregivers from burning out? Many of us have probably heard “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Taking care of the caregivers needs to be encouraged and allowing them time for themselves needs to be a priority. Ensuring that caregivers are taken care of is very important and there are opportunities to help.
Some options that exist include the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) and Alzheimer Family Caregiver Support Program (AFCSP). What are these grants? Who qualifies? How can I access them? These are excellent questions for our Information and Assistance Specialists!
NFCSP helps the caregiver have access to respite care, counseling, support groups, and assistance in gaining access to available services. Respite care is getting help doing the tasks normally done by the caregiver. If you qualify, the program provides funding to purchase respite services that will support caring for your loved one in their home as long as possible. Funding is limited. Applications through ADRC are required.
The purpose of AFCSP is to help caregivers have access to community services and support. If you qualify, the program provides funding to purchase goods and services that will support caring for your loved one with irreversible dementia in their home as long as possible. Funding is limited. Applications through ADRC are required.
To learn more about these programs or to apply, call ADRC at (920) 448-4300. Staff members are available to assist Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Lastly, caregivers must be sure that they are taking care of themselves by making time for activities they enjoy! Taking a walk, getting their nails done, tinkering around with a car, meeting a friend for lunch, or whatever sounds fun for them. Remember: A caregiver should also ensure they care for themselves!