Alzheimer’s Disease: Helpful Resources for Family Caregivers

November 1st, 2019

By: Sharon Roth Maguire, MS, RN, GNP-BC

In 2017, 16 million Americans provided 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care to people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. One out of four of these family caregivers is part of the sandwich generation — caring for an older parent and their children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and it’s important to recognize the work of family caregivers, while also highlighting resources that are available to help them care for their loved ones. 

Members of this generation, ages 35 to 54, feel more stress as they struggle to balance work and care for their children and aging parents. Many family caregivers don’t know where to turn for support, but there are many public health resources that can provide information and guidance for effective, affordable dementia care. 

Who Can Help with Alzheimer’s?

There are wonderful local, state, and national organizations that will help you navigate Alzheimer’s, provide one-on-one assistance, and offer direction on various support services in your community, including:
  • Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs), the Administration on Community Living (ACL), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Veterans Health Administration each offer special programs and support that can streamline access to long-term services for older adults and their families. While some of these programs have qualification criteria, it’s important to investigate what they offer to see if you might be able to take advantage of their services. A great place to start is with your local county health department, who can let you know what is available and who to contact in your county for support.
  • The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging coordinates and provides services that help older adults remain in their homes, such as home-delivered meals and home assistance.
  • The Eldercare Locator is a national service of the U.S. Administration on Aging that connects older adults with trustworthy local support resources, including meals, home care, or transportation. They also provide much-needed support for caregivers who need training, education, or a well-deserved break from caregiving responsibilities.
  • The Community Resource Finder is available through a partnership with the Alzheimer's Association and AARP. The resource provides access to community programs and services. The Alzheimer’s Association has local chapters across the country where you can receive assistance and guidance, and most notably, they have a variety of support groups and educational opportunities for caregivers, families, and patients. AARP’s website is a great source for information about Alzheimer’s and caregiving and has information about navigating care choices as well as handling issues like caregiver stress.
  • State Health Insurance Assistance Program provides Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and caregivers with information, counseling, and enrollment assistance.
  • Your local county-sponsored multipurpose senior center coordinates services for older adults such as meals, education, health screenings, exercise/health promotion programs, and transportation. They can be helpful for older adults who are caring for a spouse.
  • Your local church or synagogue may provide helpful services and assistance.
  • Your loved one’s healthcare team or local hospital may be able to connect you with local services and support.

Even though it may feel like it, you are not alone – reach out for the help you need! 

Exploring In-Home Care

In-home care can be a solution for early-, middle- and late-stage dementia care. BrightStar Connections is our unique approach to Alzheimer's and dementia care. The lives of our clients are enriched by person-centered care that preserves dignity, provides helpful assistance, and promotes activity in a setting that is comfortable and familiar — their home. Our mission goes beyond just personal safety and care. We understand the importance of establishing and maintaining meaningful connections for your loved one.

We provide a range of services tailored to the specific needs of those living with dementia and their families, including:

  • Full support service: Our caregivers provide personal, companion, and specialized home care for dementia patients, including transportation and light housekeeping. In addition, our nurses can provide skilled care and medication management as needed.
  • Hourly, live-in, and 24/7 care: We can provide care for just a few hours a day, round-the-clock support with a live-in provider, or care all day, every day if your loved one requires overnight care.
  • Respite care: Need a break? We can provide care so you can have an evening, a full day, a weekend, or even a week or more to recharge and refresh.
  • Transitional Care: We provide specialized planning and transportation to ensure a safe transition from the home or current care setting to a new residence.

A BrightStar Care registered nurse oversees the care and provides education and support for not only the care team but the client and family as well. Call BrightStar Care® today at 866-618-7827 to learn more about our specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia home care services, or find a location near you.