Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Can’t Miss Resources for Family Caregivers

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get all the information on caregiving you needed without having to scramble?  After all, you have way too much on your plate already. Maybe you’re taking care of more than one person—a child and a parent, two parents, a parent and an in-law, a spouse and a parent—the possible configurations are endless. Whether it’s one or more, it’s a huge commitment.

To save you time, we’ve compiled a list of non-profits, organizations, and websites that will give you what you need: local and national resources, online forums to swap advice, vent, and stay sane, brochures, booklets, articles and hotlines. These folks are experts!

So let’s get started:

Disease-Specific Organizations

They know about resources in your community, besides online, and problems (and solutions) related to your situation. They’ll also connect you with others who’ve been in your boat. Groups include the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (http://www.alzfdn.org/?gclid=CJDn3O7n7LsCFUyu4godXiIAMw),
the American Heart Association (www.heart.org) , American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) and the American Parkinson Disease Association (http://www.apdaparkinson.org).  Some, like the Alzheimer’s Association, have a 24-hour hotline.

Groups for Family Caregivers

The National Alliance for Caregiving (http://www.caregiving.org) is chocked full of resources, booklets, tip sheets, and webcasts

Caregiver Action Network (http://caregiveraction.org) offers forums, support and advocacy groups, agencies, and the latest news that could affect you as a caregiver. Its website has an ultra comprehensive list of resources.

Family Caregiver Alliance (http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/home.jsp) has free online publications on various topics, caregiving facts sheets, and lots of other info

Well Spouse Association (http://www.wellspouse.org) is a
membership organization that provides support to caregiving spouses and partners of those who are critically ill or disabled

Directories and Resource Centers

Eldercare Locator (www.eldercare.gov) is a U.S. government service for older adults and their families through the U.S. Administration on Aging. It allows  you to search by topic (i.e. “caregiver,” “home repair and modification,” “elder abuse prevention,” “transportation,” “housing options”) for resources in your community and/or have an online chat with a specialist.

The n4a, a.k.a. the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (http://www.n4a.org), administers the Eldercare Locator as well as the National Center on Senior Transportation or NCST (www.seniortransportation.net).  Your local Area Agency on Aging will be a goldmine of information! Staff know about special programs, new initiatives, non-profit and government agencies that offer help, and basically, anything relating to the elderly in your community. NCST steers you to all things transportation-related.

The National Resource Directory (https://www.nrd.gov)
connects wounded and ill veterans, their families with services and resources. It also supports military members who have been killed.

AARP Caregiving Resource Center (http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/) is packed with forums, blogs for family caregivers, articles, work sheets, and tools (like a long-term care calculator)

National Adult Day Services Association (http://www.nadsa.org)
pinpoints adult daycare centers nation-wide

The National Center for Creative Aging (http://www.creativeaging.org)
lists creative arts programs (dance, theatre, writing, poetry, storytelling, museums) around the country for older adults in community settings and long-term care. Some are intergenerational.

End of life

Caring Connections (www.caringinfo.org) has brochures on end-of-life issues such as caregiving, hospice, palliative care, advance care directives, grief and finance

HospiceDirectory.org, (http://www.hospicedirectory.org)
steers you to a hospice near your loved one

National Respite Locator Service (http://www.respitelocator.org/index.htm) is designed for families of kids with special needs and caregivers of adults and the elderly

The Conversation Project (http://theconversationproject.org) helps people have the conversation with their loved ones about end of life. It has a starting kit to get you going, and shares how others have handled the situation

Training for family caregivers:

American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org) puts on programs around the country for caregivers

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