ARE YOU A CAREGIVER? AgeSmart can help.
Caring for an older adult family member or friend can be a daunting task. So many times, the caregiver can exhaust themselves. You do not have to go it alone. AgeSmart can help with services and resources to help you make this very important role of a caregiver easier.
Caregiver Resource Specialist
AgeSmart’s Caregiver Resource Specialists can link you to services to help you meet the needs of the person you are caring for. Each and every situation is different, and they can help you customize a plan for the person you are caring for. Using a comprehensive resource data base, they can give you guidance and options for your loved one’s care.
National ElderCare Locator
The National ElderCare Locator is also available for you if you are caring an individual in another state. Access the ElderCare locator at https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Index.aspx or call 1-800-677-1116. You can find the local Area Agency on Aging in that person’s community.
Sometimes a simple break from your caregiving role can help you, the caregiver, get a needed break. AgeSmart offers a Respite program which pays the caregiver a monthly stipend that they can use to purchase care allowing them to get out of the house.
Short-term counseling is available for St. Clair, Madison and Bond County residents, related to topics of aging, illness, grief, life events, caregiving and community resources. The counselors are available by appointment for in the home of homebound individuals.
If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease Savvy Caregiver teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to handle the challenges of caring for someone with the disease. Savvy Caregiver training program will help you reduce your distress effectively so you can focus on the task of being a caregiver.
Stress Busting for Caregivers
The Impact of stress on your health and its relationship to your caregiving is significant. Stress busting helps you deal with stress through relaxation techniques and problem solving. It also teaches you how to care for yourself while providing better care for your loved one. Participants in the program are given everything needed including a session handbook and online access to a meditation exercise and relaxation strategy videos. Caregivers who have completed this program feel significantly lower stress, depression, and anxiety and are able to enjoy a better quality of life. They have also experienced improvement in their ability to relax, manage stress and feel better about themselves.
If you are living with a person with dementia is sometimes difficult to get out and do simple things with your loved one like going to dinner. You may be concerned about your loved one’s behavior or abilities and therefore just stay home. Cafés provide a comfortable environment where can meet with other caregivers and their loved ones and participate in activities.
Having your legal documents in order is very important. AgeSmart provides funding to Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation to assist with legal issues caregivers face.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
In Illinois, more than 200,000 children are being raised in grandparent-headed homes. If you are one of these grandparents help is available for you. Assistance can range from financial assistance, guardianship, legal and Information and assistance.
Advice from caregivers to caregivers:
- Ask for help. Do not try to do it all yourself.
- Never make promises you can’t keep.
- Trust your instincts, most of the time they will lead you in the right direction.
- Educate yourself on your loved one’s condition. This will help you communicate with doctors.
Services provided by AgeSmart are available to everyone 60 and older for only a suggested contribution. For more information call AgeSmart at 618-222-2561.