Are you a caregiver or provider for a family member, friend, or patient? Do you help to take care of another person in need, including an ill spouse or an aging relative? Caregivers act as both healthcare provider and advocate for the person in their charge, and can be a financial resource when savings and social security are not an option. There are over 45 million caregivers in the United States, and there are resources available to help them fulfill their needs as they take on the care of others.
Whether you are taking care of the young or elderly; the ill, injured, or disabled; the difficulty of the work, while rewarding, can be draining. Respite care services (outlined here by StuffSeniorsNeed.com) can help allay the exhaustion and give a well-deserved break to caregivers. In 2009, the Lifespan Respite Care Program was authorized by Congress and has since been implemented in 37 states. Funded by federal grants from the Administration for Community Living and the Administration on Aging, the program has expanded access to respite care for caregivers of patients of all ages.
Caregivers of veterans are eligible for support from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In addition to respite care, VA Caregiver Services include home-based healthcare for those in need. Respite services and home-based healthcare are also offered by a number of organizations that can be found by searching for “Respite Care” and/or “Home Care” under Services Provided in our Diagnosis-Based Assistance database, though is not offered for all diagnoses.
While many options for respite or help at home are free or low-cost, there are out-of-pocket expenses even when Medicare or Medicaid covers portions of the cost. Call NeedyMeds’ toll-free helpline (800-503-6897) for information on respite, home care, or other forms of caregiver support. It is important to note that with different eligibility requirements for different programs in different areas of the country, it can be difficult to find a one-stop resource for caregivers. If you are having trouble finding services in your area, contact a local social worker.
Watch our webinar about Self-Care for Caregivers. While taking care of others, it is often hard to find the time to take care of yourself. You are likely exhausted, stressed, and struggling to get everything done on your to-do-list. Our presentation will teach you how to practice self-care by tracking your own health and managing your stress using our free smartphone app, NeedyMeds HealthStorylines. You will also learn how you can use the tool to manage the health of your loved ones or patients, including their medications, symptoms, and health vitals.